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 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!
This morning one of those wormy kind of things wiggled its way into my consciousness and I recognized it as a symptom of my fear of scarcity. I won’t head dive into everything I’ve learned in the last couple of years about the fear of not having enough…whether it be money or toilet paper or love … but Once I recognized it in myself, I started questioning if this is the fear that has many hoarding toilet paper and chlorine wipes during this pandemic. This fear was a cloud I remember over my childhood…it probably goes without saying that a child should not grow up aware of their parents fear….but we know what sponges children are. My parents were young adults during the depression so I get it!
With that in mind, it is obvious when you look at my overflow closet in the basement that I buy in bulk. The difference in buying in bulk to save money and buying in bulk because of the comfort of always having what I think I need when I need it is a very thin line.
Just like all of my spiritual ah ha moments, I’m not sure why this realization showed up this morning…but I know it comes to be healed. I buy coffee in bulk …a box of 72 keurig morning blend and one box of dark roast. It used to be when the stash got down to 12 or 13 K cups, I knew it was time to reorder. Similar to a friends wife who sent her husband to the store for cartons of cigarettes when she was down to one carton in the closet.
This morning when I lifted the lid I realized that another 2 boxes of kcups arrived this week…I obviously did not need to order. The realization hit me that this is a bigger issue than I realized…this fear of running out. I think the pandemic and the run on toilet paper inflamed my “lack” nerve. Instead of irritation with the lack of toilet paper on the shelves of the grocery store, I send grace to those people who, perhaps, are also suffering from an unrecognized fear of lack. I need to offer grace to everyone who is not exactly like me because I have NO IDEA what their lives and their fears feel like to them!
This afternoon I received a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize… normally I wouldn’t answer but today I did….
It was a phone call from Bill….we were classmates elementary through high school. We have not see each other for 45+ years although years ago we became friends on Facebook and his posts about old bands often makes me nostalgic and his “Bill” posts often make me snicker. His wife and I were also friends but we had lost touch after high school so I had no idea that during those lost years she and Bill hooked up and have been living happily ever after.
Bill didn’t want anything in particular today…said he was just sitting around drinking beer and calling old friends… Lori explained later on Facebook that Bill had in fact called a lot of us …. he started at 11 am and ended when it was time for dinner.
I have been grinning and feeling great since that phone call. Bill made an effort that surprised many old friends…I’m sure he has no idea how that effort touched our hearts…. serendipity.
I spend a lot of time either agreeing or disagreeing with other humans. There are times when I’m neutral. But often I say in my head…what are they thinking? What are their demons? What happened to them? More like what the HELL happened to them? Thankfully I’m also able to say, how did I get so lucky with friendships? In spite of the the events in my life that I considered negative at the time, how did I get so lucky? I am grateful for the ability to now recognize Peace of Mind?
Laying in bed trying to get a nap in before work, I was focusing on my chakras because I have been feeling out of alignment…or to be honest…I’m tired, have been experiencing some fear and entertaining bitchy thoughts. While laying there I had the image of an older woman with large, lipstick decorated lips. My thoughts went to what would that be like to have well endowed lips. Would I talk differently, would I enunciate words differently? Would I look in the mirror and notice my beautiful lips first…or would I be focused on thin hair or tired eyes? What would it be like to look different? What would it be like to even have a different heritage…say black or asian? Would I be the same person inside..looking in the mirror but seeing a different face?
Of course I would be a different person inside having different life experiences. But, what if we could trade out bodies for a day? Would I understand the difference? Would I be less judgmental? Would I “get it”? Would I be the same after walking in someone else’s pumps?
I’ve felt a bit off center this week…maybe related to but not entirely because of staying home and avoiding COVID and more importantly the talk about COVID. The constant blah blah blah, the anger, the dissension…Facebook, worldwide, family, friends. I just refuse to be paralyzed with fear; yet, I refuse to rip off my clothes and nakedly confront it. I have learned healthy respect over the years and this is the time to show respect…respect of guidelines issued by the medical community just because my ego may want to yell and scream about some perceived rights I might have over the next human….I prefer respect….kindness!
Sadly this is the last picture of the happy family. I took it while on a walk yesterday after I watched the baby dining under the bird feeders.
Jr was missing this morning. We did have more geese fly in raising a ruckus. I assume they will be tenants and not just visiting from a neighboring pond. Im guessing we won’t have anymore babies this season because I think mating season is over. Although you wouldn’t know it by the strutting going on. I felt a loss when we realized Jr wasn’t around.
I found this cluster of iris yesterday by a bridge along the trail.
#gratitude to the person who planted them so neighbors could find them!
The weekend is upon us. At least I think it is, I really would need to confirm with my calendar but let’s just go with it.
My daughter put random pictures on line last weekend of her cousins playing and posing for pictures over the years. Looking at those pictures, I was filled with so many memories. It seems like just yesterday.
In 2013, we had one daughter living in Ohio and one in Missouri. HE had already officially retired and was working part time waiting for me to retire the next year when we found out the Missouri daughter was going to give us a grandchild. We made the decision to leave everything we had ever known and move south . We loaded up 2 dogs and 5 cats and made the official move on the same day I was free of a job I had for 30 years. Where had those 30 years gone? It seems like just yesterday.
The first part of March we really had no idea how our life was going to change. It seems like just yesterday. Life as we had known it…family, trips back to Iowa to see family and friends, planning babysitting activities, going out to eat, shopping and our activities at Unity….they just stopped! It seemed like everything just stopped! I can’t wrap my head around how life has changed for the world…not just my little corner.
We are coping. That means whatever it means for each individual and the circumstances of their lives! I have to remind myself that we are a strong people. Most of us will survive. My prayer is we can show love and kindness to each human we cross paths with while recognizing the gratitude and thankfulness for all of those little acts of kindness. A few years from now we will remember this time as the moment everything changed. It will seem like just yesterday.
We picked up our taxes this morning….the fact that we both had to be there to pick them up irritated me to no end especially since we have nothing else to do. On the way up to this “other town”, I was able to bring forth all of the angst and non angst of my 46 year “filing tax history” and how much better it always was. The one that really stuck in my craw which made me feel the best to bitch about was the fact that in years past, our attorney would do our taxes, file our taxes, mail the paper copies to us and I would send him a check. It really felt so good to be justified in my anger.
We also discussed the fact that a brand new convenience store is going in at an intersection near us. He mentioned how it will be difficult to get in and out of this convenience store because of the amount of traffic on the highway. We did feel a little better when we realized that there was a stop light at one of the egress routes but we have heard people bitching that you have to sit at that light for 10 minutes. Which we haven’t experienced but it sure felt good to feel justified in our beliefs.
Then there’s last year. The Missouri D0T had to close the main highway between us and civilization aka Lee’s Summit for a month so they could dig it up, regrade and resurface. This meant, for me, I had to go one of several different routes to get to those frequent destinations. This month long inconvenience nearly ruined my life.
…and then I realized how low my vibrations were this morning. Living in the past, talking about all of these insignificant events like they were happening now was a symptom of choosing irritation and hatred over calm and gratitude. It was not until I honed in on my thought process and how I was feeling that I realized how long I had just spent feeling angry and feeling like a victim. I will not let this seep into anymore of my day. So…a minute of deep breathing and positive, grateful affirmation.
I woke up around 5 this morning, chatted with a bestie on line, tried to read a book which I’m not finding fascinating but I feel it does enhance my language skills since I’m not talking very much. There are a few big words in it which I hope I would pronounce correctly due to the fact reading written words is much different than wrapping your tongue around them. I knew the book could not satisfy me like a good sunrise on a clear day….and then I thought…I can be at the grocery store when it opens at 7 and avoid all of the angst of people.
It was freeking depressing. There were a few cars in the lot and every person in there other than cashiers were my age and older….and everyone looking like they did exactly what I did. Grabbed clothes hanging on the end of the bed and off to the store. Depressing…because I could feel it and see it in their faces. It was a totally different experience than a trip to the store during the heart of the day or after 5 pm.
There were no smiles, no nodding of the head. They slowed down on approach and actually stopped. I considered turning my cart around and going the other way so they would be more comfortable…but I realized this would not work looking at the big picture.
I tried to avoid everyone the best I could. I kept a smile on my face, love in my eyes and blessed everyone in the confines of my life in that moment. With the frequently blasted death sentence of the corona virus, older folks are genuinely scared and we need to respect that and love them with everything we have.
The reality of our virus consciousness is we can be pissed off, we can believe this should not affect “me”, we can go on trying to live the same life we lived before we heard of Coronavirus, we can rip our insides out being internally hateful and angry, we can refuse to trust the government, we are free to read and believe all of the conspiracy theorists to bolster our negative attitudes, we can weep for lost opportunities, we can be devastated by the loss of loved ones and inconsolable because we can’t send them off into “whatever you believe next is” the way we believe we should. But the bottom line is. It has us. We have very few real choices!
This feels wrong! We aren’t use to discipline, we aren’t use to the loneliness, we aren’t use to having to follow someone else’s rules with our private lives. Here in the US, most of us have the American Dream mentality. If we work hard, we will succeed. We can do anything we put our mind to. But that is being taken away from us….just for a little while….just until we are safe…..safer.
There is no doubt, individually, we are going to come out of this with monumental issues….all of those things that you are worrying about right now…some of them may actually be difficult to deal with.
But will we love more abundantly, Will our time out make us appreciate the little things, Will we hug others with heart bursting love and Will we come together as humans on earth helping each other, freely giving our time, energy and love to one another just because we will see how much it is needed and appreciated and generosity will be stylish?
I am already seeing it out there…”out there” outside of where I shelter. The neighbors are checking on each other, able neighbors are offering resources, time and energy to help each other. In between the angst on social media, there is love. We are starting to step up for each other…it’s actually kind of beautiful!