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I'm in California, visiting my Former Spouse and my son. I've been advised not to stay at his house for a variety of reasons by friends. But I decided that it feels natural to stay at my former house and pick up where we left off. I devised a plan "B" in case. I quashed worries about what message is sent to Former by the visit and I'm enjoying my time here. We are great biking adventure buddies. Great dinner companions. We have an ease together when we're not wishing for something different. Isn't that the way of life? Appreciation.
My son, now 32, is a philosophizer. I used to be, too at his age. Ready to fix the world by my critiques. Young adulthood is a powerful force because it's a pinnacle of physical strength, mental facility, unbridled potential. The only thing holding them back is the insecurity of youth...the tentative sensing of their own power, but not believing in it. If the body ripened to perfection at the age of forty, after experiences held a mix of failures and successes, heartbreak and weights of emotional ties, then one would be more prepared to deal with intrinsic power.
This is good: the fact that I'm writing 100 words while acknowledging the mess around me. I used write as reward after accomplishing the to-do list. I have new priorities. Plus the fact that no one ever sees my house anymore. Ahhh, the quiet, solo life of an unattached person. I have the space to evolve into an authentic person. This is who I am with no one watching... a bit messy, not a shopper anymore. Not a yard keeper. Not a reader, quite the queen of frittering time on minor tasks, a biker, a new entrepreneur. I am.
In Home Depot, entering the aisle that's a storm of colors, I join the others contemplating their choice. Only one color of all these colors will be selected. One perfect color, blended into one formula with just the right amount of sheen that will magically remake a room in the temple of the castle. These follow selectors are, like me, in a daze between the imaginary room at a certain time of day and then, back here in the aisle, shifting the weight of their imagination again and again. One woman, moving fast, eyes glazed, mouth straight breaks away. Decided.
Life and Death issues. Big deals. Scarey facts. Trust, mistrust of doctors. "High Risk" category. Change on chest X-ray. X-ray or CT scan? Insurance deductible made real. No biopsy at this time. Watch. Wait. What??
Prime of life (latent stage.) Top of the world, passions realized. A calling that produces "home at last." Challenges, mistakes, a team full of well wishers. Nothing to lose. All old devotional relationships put to bed. Opportunity in abundance. Hope. Keep going.
Details, pictures of lungs presented. "Why are you here? It's nothing; can't even see it!"
Ahh. Life never felt so good.
Ahhh. Quiet briskness greeted me this morning. Cold enough to warrant the winter, heavy robe. Even though summer is the season that invites play activities and warm walking up to the ice cream store for an evening's entertainment, still--fall's arrival is welcome. There is an intrinsic survival marker in the change of season. I've made it through another year. All those incidents that I thought would be unsurvivable are behind me now. I could stay still and observe each leaf leave its tree; I've had enough drama to satiate. I'm alive and thriving. I'm grateful for this new season.
I did my beached whale routine yesterday for 90 minutes. When life and complications and interests seem overwhelming, I take a timer to the couch. I don't leave the couch until the timer buzzes. I just sit. I don't try to meditate, or sleep or resolve anything. I watch my thoughts in the beginning, but usually lose focus. For that time period, I relax into the idea that there won't be any changes, problems, demands; just me on my comfortable couch. It's pleasantly reminiscent of being parked on a church pew between my parents until the pastor's sermon is over.
My antenna are tuned into finding narcissists in my midst. Only recently I have discovered their profound influence on my life. And it's like anything else in life, until you can name it, you can't claim it or defend against it. Narcissists come in many colors. It takes time for me to sort through my fascination with them, my attraction to them and to get to the labeling of them. I'm not big into labels, but this particular quirk is my nemesis. Failure to see reality in others has diverted my path in life-- I took the long way home.
I'm flunking devotion tests with glee. No more pressured obligation to prove, with gifts and deeds, that I am profoundly grateful for another's existence. Let them find their own value. I'm done with so many conventions. Is this the path of authenticity? or selfishness? I don't care. My caring is not crucial to anyone. I like to think of myself as a secret monk. I do my meditation ritual of appreciation for the day, I welcome the strangers with whom I come into contact, volunteer in the garden, I do my community business, making enough to fill my rice bowl.
I love my job, or future job when it becomes successful. I inhabit my studio and tidy up, reorganize, repair things and dream and write up descriptions, and make to do lists and did I say dream? I haven't given up hope. Even if only one person shows up for a class, I consider it to be a win. I have a name and number to call the next time the course is offered. Each day I meet someone interesting. They're explorers, adventurers who take the time and initiative to follow their interests, open doors in front of them. Yes!
I suppose it's normal to want to acknowledge the passing of innocent victims of war crimes. We come together to find comfort in community. The problem is we are then commemorating the tragedy and thus keeping it alive, or one could say, glorifying the negative. I propose we expand all such occasions into two day holidays; one day would be for solemnity and we would wear black and be silent. The next day would be a jubilant parade of the surviving human spirit, the force of wonderful nature that helps us go on and thrive; acknowledging and accepting life's wholeness.
True north, the warrior within, the inner sage, the remembering, being your own best friend. These are statements that resonated with me for a long time. Now, I've got to fire my sage and best friend, forget about the instinctual remembering, hire a mercenary, and go south. This is the defeated feeling I'm carrying around these days. I know counseling is essential and the key to going through the fire and emerging transformed in positive ways. But now it has revealed to me that I've been actively deluding myself, which destroys trust in my core intelligence. My reality checks suck.
5 minutes for 100 words... Beginning a new knitting pattern for a sweater I'll knit for myself. It's sort of symbolic for the comfort I need to provide myself, the dedication it takes to make one little stitch at a time, the tenacity I am willing to show for my own well being. I'm joining the Wednesday knit class, so that I can ask for help if I get stuck and will enjoy the socialization all wrapped up in this small tangible product. A fine demonstration of qualities and skills I want for myself and am willing to grab for.
The problem with being an entrepreneur is that, if you're not making money, then there is always something that is dogging you...what you should be doing or trying or studying or preparing. The list of ideas is endless. The thinking is not a grind, but still a draining of energy. Today I woke up and thought...didn't I used to do housework? Like when? So, I'm putting business aside, tucking the to do list in my pocket while I make the house presentable...for whom? To instill confidence in my own sanity: cleanliness and orderliness seem to be important.
Funny how a two pound, light weight beast can steer a life! I have a new kitten named Ronin, given to me by neighbors who rescued him. Suddenly, the chores, the yardwork, the business assignments are in the shadows of my awareness and I only see this kitten and his insistence on getting attention. When I'm away, I'm worried about whether he's bored. Or if he safe in the bedroom where I left him. He comes to my call and doesn't run from me anymore. Last night when I turned out the lights, he laid quietly across my chest. Sweet.
Today I discovered that trying hard in the beginning of an enterprise, is different than trying hard when there is no excitement to keep you afloat. Not that dreams have died; just that it's not new anymore. Things are in place, plans are made. I have more to do than I can handle...in fact, I'm overwhelmed at the chore of going back into the website and make changes, etc. These challenges lack pizzazz. They drain me of energy instead of build energy. Maybe each day I should organize tasks in 2 columns: drain and energize. Do some of each.
Uck! fear, competition, success, defeat. I've gone around the yin yang wheel a few times now. I have a competitor who looks good in location and on the web (where as my presence is sorely lacking.) All these furious/curious thoughts come up and haunt me from my past. I remember when success was more of a personal emblem of value, a stamped golden star on my forehead. I'm not trying to be a success per say. I'm trying to live a good life, have it filled with interesting things to do, a cause bigger than myself, meet wonderful people.
I have a new, black, furry, joy maker called Ronin. This little cat delights in every second. His curiosity is inspiring. He takes chances, explores the outer realms of the house, uses trial and error to figure out how to join me on the bed--falls and tries again. When he's bored or alone, he curls up in a drawer and sleeps until he awakened. Last night, he found me asleep and laid across my neck, ever so gently. Sometimes, I think he is playing hide and seek with me; peering around corners and sprinting away, then watching for me.
I'm anxious about life slipping away. I want to squeeze more out of it. I want to wring the droplets of life out of a day so that there is nothing wasted. My anxiety is a low level awareness of managing the balance of living in the moment and appreciating that all is as it should be and the drive to do more, get more, work harder, evaluate my lack of achievement in the entrepreneurial realm. I'm conjuring regrets. The furnace is on for the winter ahead. The length of summer days is contracting, folding light into creases; expansiveness gone.
In my next life, I want to be a cat; a sleek haired, elegant, graceful cat. I want to be born into a family that is relatively busy, clamoring clumsily around life, so that when there's a free moment, they search me out and hold me. Their affection will be due to their need to comfort a being as themselves; but intensified by guilt and need for softness and purring. I won't have to worry, as do dogs, about developing a personality. So much work! The bond that will ensure my well-being is more archetypal, not so personal. Purrrfect!
Had a memory of me fixing up the Glenwood home. I was happily painting the grid of the exterior windows while listening to one of my first audio books, "The Kite Runner." That was five years ago. Did I know then that I was leaving? I loved that house. The point that hit me was that five years is a quarter of the time I have left on earth (most likely.) Look at how fast that went. The punch in the gut that realization gave me is a good reminder to walk forward on the path. Don't question it. Go!
I am working on a mask of a warrior. My warrior within. It's the fierce beast of a being that is needed to protect me from narcissists, pretend friends, and wolves in sheep's clothing. I want the beast to be so foreboding that the mean spirited individual senses it can't mess with me and doesn't bother. I want to have keen instinct to know who is who. I have to develop instinct. I'm reminded of Maya Angelo's core strength of knowing what love is and what it isn't, and her ability to shout it out when Nogood came her way.
Procrastination makes me happy. It's a bit of time that I steal for my pleasure. It wreaks with, "You deserve it, be in the moment." It's a mental screw you to the to do list. I visualize the black marker blocking out the intended chore. Not getting that done-- I'll show it! I will never be one of those people who can say "no" to themselves until all their to dos are done. I admire them for the respectable, mature people they are. I'm not. It shows. By definition, I'm not doing my best. But they're not doing 100 words.
All my sorrows about my sister are consolidating in my psyche. Layers of hurt are melding into a solid heap of understanding. Maybe I have sought a one liner for explanation to whomever may ask. Or a short justification of losing my sister on the road of life. I wasn't a priority in her life. I spent too much energy making that OK. There. Is that it? Can I live with that? Is it wrong? Simple. Straight forward. I wasn't important. Appearances were important. Dad was important. I was inconvenient, unless she needed my support. Out of sight...and mind.
A little discovery I made this week. No, just an observation. That as a person's skin becomes lined, wrinkled and rough, their insides soften. Emotions quiet and settle into a smooth lake. A youngster's skin seems like the most remarkable substance; it feels like velvet, has the strength to protect. Yet inside a youth are jostling emotions and life drama and lessons that hurt. We keep going, and growing and learning. Taking our knocks, developing thicker skin, then lined skin; all the while adjusting, coping, succeeding, mastering, letting go of ego, prioritizing, living in the moment. It's a beautiful cycle.
POWER! What a thrill to push a button and have all the leaves out of my patio in--no kidding--3 minutes! I discovered the mighty blower. No stooping, scooping, tarping, lifting. And all these years I've been scowling at those idiots who do the neighbors' lawns; obliterating the peace with their noise pollution; toying with my patience by feckless chasing of a single leaf, instead of picking it up. I confess. I have stood on my porch and glared daggers at them. Can I keep my self righteousness though, since my leaf blower is quieter and is electric? No?
Internal Warrior continued from 9/30: The effect of said warrior using blinders instead of a spotlight on the culprit or source of my bad feelings was idiotic. I was spared the very pain that would have enhanced my awareness (wariness) of narcissists in my midst; those people who were incapable--without capacity-- of love or nurturing, those who had nothing but their own pedestals to build. So I missed the fact that those hard feelings should have been turned into energy to avoid those folks, to neutralize their impacts and realize that it was them and not me. Late!
Glad it's a rainy day. Sunny weather calls me out of the house and into playtime, acknowledging the coming of winter. I biked 8.5 miles to yesterday to see the movie "Blue Iris" then biked home for a total 17 miles of glorious biking exercise. Today I have to tackle the ToDo list with focus. Why is that so hard, when I'm doing the very thing I've chosen to do with my life? Weird. Trying to visualize Slacker Dee pulling my strings. I want to shoot her, not reason with her. She's not logical, so it's hard to relate.
Author Prestin, wrote in "War of Art" that any big endeavor, especially those movements of the soul, creates a force of resistance, the ultimate hurtle before anything can begin. It's a real predictable, ubiquitous THING, this force. One can create a vision or name it so to respect it, challenge it, overcome it. I see it as the undertow in the wave that gathers the power to thrust forward. Maybe a more personified character would be more useful--a dragon to be put down, or a slacker named Dee, who holds me back so that I could dialog with her.
I want to fire my inner warrior. I have discovered through art therapy, that said warrior was diligent in its protection of my short term well being, but was sorely absent in protecting my long term well being. As a matter of fact, set me up for prolonged difficulty in relationships which then seriously altered by life course! Faulty warrior, now known as "crud warrior" was invested in guarding me from "bad, sad, mad," uncomfortable feelings. Crud was efficient with partial, invisible blinders. S/he would slip them over my perceptions whenever significant person showed their true colors of indifference.
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