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April Fool's Day. My brother and his wife are celebrating another wedding anniversary. They were married in 1968, thirty-nine years ago. My mother was alive. I was single with no children. I was still drinking. So many things have changed. For many, younger than me, this is a lifetime. For me, it is a period of memories. The only constant in all of this time seems right now to be my brother's marriage. These two people are unique. They've stayed together through good times and bad. What is my lesson in this? Where have I taken the easier softer way?
Today is a special day. Special because my calendar shows that my online buddy, Talulah, is celebrating a birthday today. Instead of sending a card, I have sent her a greeting by email and am devoting this 100 words in celebration of her day. The day Talu was born, the world was enriched by the birth of one very talented and spirited female. Talu is full of life and love, gratitude and spirit. I am grateful for our connection more each day. She greets me with encouragement. We share our ups and downs. Happy Birthday, friend ... and many more.
Procrastination causes pain. So often I look the other way and blow off tasks at hand only to later be swamped, overwhelmed, confused, fearful, and guilty. Today is one of those days. I had all winter to tend to the details of getting my house ready to sell. I'm nowhere near where I need and want to be. So now I'm throwing lashes at myself for not doing and feeling worse I'm sure, than I would have if I had tended to what needed to be done; even a little at a time. No time like now. Wish me luck.
Darkness came quickly. I prayed in gratitude for electricity. Lights banished the fear I felt while walking alone outside in the unexpected darkness.
My front door was closed behind me when the first bolt of lightening lit up the sky. The crack of thunder turned my insides out and I jumped.
"That was close," I said to Max and Tootsie.
With a whine and slow whir, all the lights went out. Everything electrical stopped.
I was alone in the dark again.
Not a bark, not a growl, not a whimper.
Where do my dogs hide when it storms?
Is there room for one more?
'Easy Does It'. 'One Day at a Time'. 'One Step at a Time'. 'Let Go, Let God'.
Slogans such as these play a huge role in my life as a sober person. When I first turned myself in to Alcoholics Anonymous, these slogans sounded sappy. Today, I rely on their wisdom to see me through the rough and stormy down times.
When things seem insurmountable, if I just take time to breathe and reflect with an 'Attitude of Gratitude', then pause long enough to remember to 'Keep It Simple', things get better and I am able to focus on 'First Things First'.
I'm closer than ever to starting that book, the one I've been thinking about writing for twenty years. I want to be done with this one so that I can read a bunch of detective novels, who-dun-its, erotica, and porn. Then I intend to write a sizzler that will sell like hot cakes.
It's going to be about murder, romance, betrayal, and SEX. Lots of good sex. Good sex is just that, good. There's a fine thin line between lewd and awesome. I'm going to wet my whistle and dig in to find a story that's screaming to be written.
"You're lazy." That's what she said. Often.
At times, like now, my mother's words still scream at me. I realize I'm fulfilling and endorsing her opinion of me. Non-productive non-actions and fears of who knows what are rendering me helpless. I can't seem to get started in doing what I need to do to lift myself out of the doldrums of depression and into action.
There have been long stretches of time when I was anything but lazy. I was able to do things that are overwhelming me today without the least thought or effort.
What changed? Why? Who am I?
"Is that all there is?"
What it is about us that looks forward for months, sometimes longer, to something ... having the experience, enjoying ... even loving the experience ... only to find the letdown immense and a greater desire for 'something' more.
Perhaps the more we seek is less. Less of that which has us thinking this time might be the magic time when everything will change because of one event and one episode.
"Happiness is an Inside Job" ... Joy and happiness is in the here and now. I have trouble getting from where I am to here.
She awoke without assistance from an alarm clock. The room was dark. After she realized she was awake, so was her mood. How can it be that another night had passed and left without taking the gloominess about her with it on its journey through time.
"I want to feel good. I want these months of confusion and uncertainty done, over."
"I hate being this down and depressed."
"What's wrong with me? Where is my spirit? My light?
Where can I turn for guidance? Who will help me find me?
Where did I go? Was I ever here? Who am I? and Why?
Blasted someone earlier today because my feelings were hurt. This was just not right.
I apologized almost on the spot yet feel justified in some weird way for my disappointment and hurt feelings.
I guess I just can't expect much from certain people. Wanting someone to respond a certain way is selfish and non-caring. She can only respond with love, care, and compassion to the degree she is able and I expected more.
What's that old adage? "Expect nothing and never be disappointed."
I hope I can learn from this and not hurt someone else's feelings because of where I happen to be.
Dreams of the future turn to nightmares in the glaring light of each new day. Unexpected illness, dreaded disease, medical treatments, doctor bills, ultimate death viciously chop away at hope leaving jagged pieces of what once was joy in fragmented mockery.
Fools who skip in merriment with their eyes cast upward to watch their hearts take wing and flutter above, soon learn the folly of what was once their delight and joy. The tumble abrupt, with wounds that ooze long after the sun has set. Hearts become heavy, weighted by life, on life's terms.
What has become of the joy?
I am looking with contempt at my computer today. With contempt and regret for the many hours I've spent chatting, messaging, goofing off and not taking care of myself and my responsibilities.
I don't mean to say that there are not certain special on line relationships that are meaningful. I'm talking about the jibberish that I respond to and the crap I read and write mostly as an escape.
I have to make some changes. A part of me does not want to hurt the feelings of others. Another part knows that I've been harming myself by this escape tactic.
Perfect Friday the 13th. Not about bad luck. More like bad karma. Am I losing my mind? Feels like it. Canceled the doctor appointment. Didn't go out. Tried to pray. Feeling empty, lost, alone.
Friends call. I am shutting them out. Kids call with good ideas. The big BUT looms heavy. I can't see beyond where I am. It's scary and I'm making it worse by giving in.
Chris came forward with the song, Stand. She thought of me when she heard the words that say "You'll be alright, you'll be alright."
I don't feel alright.
I feel all wrong.
Do I serve it or does it serve me?
I feel like a slave to everything around me. Everything owns me and I need to let go of everything that does not serve me.
Do I need it or do I want it? If I want it, why? If I need it, why? Is this something I love and think is beautiful? I am a slave to things.
I love only a few things; I think I need more. More is less. I know that. When will I jump off with courage and let go?
When will I find me?
For the first time in a long time, my view has altered and readjusted. What seemed overwhelming even a day ago now looks less bleak; more possible.
Unmanageable yet, but viewing what needs to get done from the standpoint of 'small steps' instead of one insurmountable mountain, is helping my focus. Clearing one little corner at a time; one step at a time; will bring results. (Where have I heard that before?)
This morning's meditation guided me to "...pray about all, but concentrate on a few things until those are accomplished." I can do that.
For now, all is well.
Feels good to have the tiny bit of direction and focus I'm feeling today. I was going down for the third time when "Someone" threw me a life preserver of courage and hope and trust ~ in God and in myself.
Online friends have reached out with support and encouragement. So have my kids. I needed to do the 'work', to 'turn it over' and look at the other side.
The other side of doom and gloom is joy and happiness. I juggled a long time before I could even begin to see from a different angle.
All is well.
I recall the day I surrendered to Love by stating the words, "If nothing else, I know You Love me; and ... I love you".
This came at the end of what had been a disappointing retreat weekend.
When I uttered those words to Almighty God, a Loving energy poured through my body. My head seemed to open up and what seemed like electricity flowed through every part of me. I was open and willing. Energy filled me with Joy, with Power, with Love.
All I needed to do was acknowledge God's Love and surrender in acceptance of the Gift.
Writing after the fact ... started this a day late and got nowhere. Here I am on Sunday catching up with Wednesday's entry. This will be dumb. That's ok. All I need to accomplish is an entry of 100 words.
Some days I have no problem and the words flow and I find myself needing to cut, cut, cut.
Today, working backward, I'm just going to ramble my way through the allotted words and move on. I did entries for later this week at the appointed time but somehow neglected today.
Better late than not at all. Great old saying.
Last night I once again confirmed how much I love to dance. Drove out with Betsey to a class Steve is teaching on beginner Swing. We had a blast.
I can do this; grew up doing what qualified me for "jitterbug" status and feel great being 'in' with what I've loved to dance for over 50 years.
Steve is an awesome teacher and the group was fun. No judgment, no professionals out to intimidate anyone else.
We laughed. Laughing and dancing ... what could be better?
We're going again next Wednesday evening and I'm really looking forward to being there.
Day of decision.
Invited to join someone as their guest at a huge fancy affair in town tonight. Have just canceled.
I can't go and pretend that 'all is well' when all is not well.
My friend is lying ~ to me, to her husband, to our AA friends, and mainly, to herself.
My gut aches and I am sad. I would love to be a part of tonight's gala, but not at the expense of being untrue to myself. This helps no one. Not her; not me and certainly not her husband.
My decision not to go feels right.
Took a ride into Burlington and found the evasive Dog Park there. Wide open spaces, fenced on all sides ... about 16 acres, I'm told.
The dogs had a ball although I thought they'd romp and run more. Tootsie surprised me by staying close and allowing me to catch her when I called. Very strange. I thought she'd be gone. Not. Max even he ran a bit.
Met a woman with a Lizzi-type dog. We had tons in common. She's from the Humboldt Park area of Chicago. Her birthday is September 14th, the day after mine.
Synchronicity at its finest.
Finally got busy and worked on the Exchange Journal between me and Liz, one of the Berriez. I am embarrassed to be two days late mailing it but will get it out tomorrow.
I had trouble getting started. Probably because I was so bummed the past few weeks. Warmer weather, sunshine, and some exercise PLUS the added bonus of having a potential buyer for my house all added up to my being able to complete four layouts which are now ready for the mail.
I think the address was in the batches of papers I threw away last week.
This morning I stuck with my commitment to self to return to Yoga classes and attended Wendy's 9:00 a.m. beginner's class at Indigo Yoga. She's awesome and a great instructor. My ankle felt ok except with one pose, which I modified.
I've also started a cleanse and did a bunch of research on healthy eating and organic foods. Have drinking more water on my things to do list and just smoked my last cigarette so I'm out of cigarettes. Not making any promises to quit yet, but am thinking in that direction.
I'll probably feel like crap for several days.
Grumble, grumble ... once again I have the grumbles but this time it's my stomach, not my mood. Started a 30-day cleanse yesterday and now I'm feeling those scrubbing bubbles working on my insides. I've been feeling sluggish and bloated lately.
This will feel good in a few days, but right now, there's no way I'm going too far from home in case of major eruption.
I firmly endorse cleanses for internal health. So much of what we consume is loaded with chemicals and preservatives not to mention too much coffee, not enough water, and not enough fruits and vegetables.
I think differently than most people. That's just fine with me. In fact, it's kind-of a hoot! at times.
Sometimes when I pay attention to what I am thinking I know that I have to redirect my thoughts so that they don't lead me into awfulizing about stuff that really doesn't matter.
When I get into my core beliefs and stay true to myself, I find peace and serenity. Pretence and playing games to please others is something I no longer do. If others don't like it, that's their issue.
When I act on my heart-gut messages, all is well.
Coming down to the wire on the 100-word challenge for April. Sure feels good to be staying true to my commitment to keep up daily.
At first, 100 words were very difficult. Now I'm beginning to get the hang of writing at this word count and even getting better at saying something meaningful in 100 words. Usually, getting started takes me over 100 words. I laughed with the others who are taking this April challenge, and told them 100 words are usually my warm-up.
Today I'm feeling good and endorsing myself for sticking with this commitment.
Four days to go!
Yesterday morning I sat down and paid my monthly bills.
My challenge throughout was to feel gratitude while this exercise was underway. I certainly cannot claim perfection in doing this. I am less stressed, resentful and fearful paying the old stuff that's still hanging on from Joe's illness and one hospital bill of my own than I was when I was first hit with the reality of my responsibility to all of this.
Gradually, I am learning a painful lesson.
Today I am grateful for the means to make even small payments. The list is dwindling each month. I'm grateful.
Your after-death presence is true, strong, real. All masks and insecurities have been removed. The energy of love's force is no longer smothered by ego's lies. Barriers to being true to your spiritual self no longer exist. Fears of rejection are gone.
You're here ~ though I can't see you.
You're here ~ though I am unable to hear your voice.
In moments of silence, my soul's breath moves the thin veil between us aside. I am allowed a glimpse through the window that separates us. Love-energy flows between our worlds. You are here. Doubts of your love are dispelled.
One of the exercises in the book, 'The Five Tibetans', tells me to spin around with arms outstretched for a maximum of 21 revolutions. Come on. If I do two I'm dizzy.
OK. I want to find balance and strength or whatever this is supposed to straighten. I'll try again.
Surely this is the most difficult of the recommended postures. I do so in resemblance of the Whirling Dervishes who are able to practice this discipline for hours on end. Different from anything I've ever tried. Hoping there's benefits.
Dogs looking my way. Do they want to join the dance?
Today marks ten years x 365 days to equal 3,650 days of cancer-free living! To say I am grateful is an understatement. To realize I have experienced 3,650 sunrises and sunsets that ten years ago were a dubious possibility is remarkable, to say the least.
To have experienced Love in more ways than I can count; the birth of a granddaughter, five years of marriage, the honor of being present to my husband prior to his death, living life on life's terms. I am overjoyed with gratitude for these and many more precious gifts.
Life is precious. I am blessed.
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