All the small things

Almost a year has passed.

Our Christmas holiday felt like the most connected in many years.  Wholly.  Not just parts of it, like the time he gave me a lovely necklace.  The gifts were thoughtful and personal, yes, but it was more than that.

He asked me last year, through tears, what about all of our pictures, and our movies, and our inside jokes?  At the time, they seemed irrelevant.  I was looking at what I thought was the bigger picture.  It was indeed, but I think mostly it was a rear-facing mirror image and it was so big, I just couldn’t see my way around it.  I figured the only way to move forward was to leave all of that behind, and that included tossing aside all the small things.

From far away, they are like a mosaic; a living, growing work of art.  The weekend trips to the beach punctuated by familiar words and phrases when familiar landmarks and places are within sight.  The holiday movies, the actors’ lines that we repeat together, or say individually which evokes laughter every single time, year after year.  The songs and lyrics culminated over time that can pinpoint a memory like a single star in a giant constellation.  The “Do you remember when’s” and “omg, what about’s” and “Can you believe we’s”.

I didn’t realize just how important these things were during the first half of last year when I was ready to leave and create a new mosaic.

Our picture has not been pretty, but it’s ours.  Our life.  Our knitting together of experiences, and though the edges are tattered, they continue to stretch out and grow, and the center is most solid.

 

 

Lost

I am struck today at just how lost I am.

Somehow, my husband and I landed on our feet, and this year has been about repairing our marriage and finding a new path.  But it’s not solid ground for me yet.

Perhaps there is a void that I hadn’t noticed.  Perhaps it has been swelling and growing for sometime.  I’m not sure what caused it; maybe it was left there when my husband took on some of the burden of our family life which had been mine to carry for so long.

I have stopped meditating.  I am exercising hard.  I am also drinking more than I should.

And, I have stopped being creative.

I am floundering.  Directionless.  In a mental, physical and spiritual rut.  Feeling lost today and upon reflection of the situation, am quick to tears.

Meditation and creation.

I think these might help.

And a new tattoo.

 

 

 

 

The Middle Ground

Today, I have a sense of being okay with the now; being at peace with what is.

I am not the weight I want to be but I’m finally feeling the fire in my belly, and more able to resist stuffing my face with m&m’s all day long.

I am not sure in which direction my marriage is headed (although it feels more positive and healthy than it has in a long time) and I’m okay with it being where it is.  It is a work in progress.  Unlike the entity it was prior when it was just work.

I am in limbo with my soul.  Not stalled in my exploration, but rather floating on a sea of tranquility.  A real sense of now.  Here. This moment.  And this moment.  Peace.  Calm.

I’ve been on wp for four years; quite prolific for the first two but dropped off considerably after that.  When I return to occasionally purge, there are a few sites I gravitate toward and Val Boyko is one of them.  The very name of her page Find Your Middle Ground feels exactly where I am.

I like it.  No pressure.  Just being.

Happy.

 

 

 

Swings and Roundabouts

This process of reconnecting with self while at the same time, trying to find the connection with husband, oftentimes feels like two steps forward, a hundred steps back. The connections to husband are like rusty prongs which no longer fit the holes they once did, and no matter how I try to needle them in, they just won’t go.

Often, I’ll wonder if I will love him the same way.  In those moments, I really need to pay attention to the voice that says, “No, you won’t.  How can you?”  The old way was mothering; a trap I fell into, a trap many women fall into, though this was no fault of my own.

So, I guess I’m learning how to be a wife to my husband, and it feels a bit like the USS Enterprise saucer separation, which is an odd analogy, but consider this:  two months ago, I felt an absolute separation, as if all parts of me fled.  But perhaps they didn’t, perhaps they simply ran for cover when the reality of what I was saying sunk in.

He and I have had some frank conversations lately about sex, usually when we are drunk and/or stoned, which has led to things I truly was unsure about doing.  I know now that I am definitely not ready for that; it’s like running before you can walk.

So, how do we move forward?  Slowly.  Patiently.  Cognizant of the others’ triggers.  Not as mother and husband, but as husband and wife, as friends, as partners.

Of course, there’s the child in me that is quite petulant.  Her arms her arms crossed, and she is pouty faced.  She is stubborn and still thinks that she’s better off alone.  That no matter the changes in him, no matter the work they are doing, she cannot see the point.

She is the one who hears his I Love You but clamps the mouth shut in response.  She is the one that gets irritated when he walks on eggshells, or looks at her in that way that I can’t describe in words.  She is the one who balks, indignant at the thought of discovering him sexually.  Why should she have to find out about him?  She’s the one that’s done the work for all these years; she’s not willing to put in the effort.

It’s a constant conflict between the child and the adult. I am somewhere in between, muddling through.  Trying to reconcile, trying to connect with him sometimes and other times, not.  Working on not being niggly, trying to be aware of what I’m feeling or thinking and expressing them, if need be.  I’m not very good at the awareness thing because the child is still very much a wounded creature.  This will take extra focus.

Finding my way back to a cohesive, loving partnership seems like a nice goal.  With fifteen years of backlog, we both have to remember to be patient with each other.

Life evolving

I’ve been sick this week, and had stayed home for two days, pretty much reclined on the couch with tissues, liquids, tv shows, and furry kitty.  My husband was home sick too; a rare occurrence by itself, but the two of us down?  Unheard of.

As long as I can recall, if I am ever sick enough to be home, I will reach a point of utter despair when all I can do is weep.  I would slide into a well of weakness, feeling pathetic; self-judgmental, really just the lowest I could ever feel about myself. It wouldn’t matter if I was home alone or had company, sooner or later, it would hit me.

On the second day this week, I realized that I hadn’t cried.  At that point, I was still feeling shitty but over the worst, so was a little surprised.  I attempted to evoke pitiful feelings but they just wouldn’t materialize.  This has always been one of my traits and yet, it appeared to no longer be of use to me.

Life, when allowed to evolve on its own is a beautiful thing, the realization struck last night whilst driving to pick up a friend.  Perhaps the reason I didn’t feel like crying was because I’d given myself permission to be empowered, to make a choice, to take control of my own life.  That being sick was just that; a period of time when the body is fighting invaders and nothing more.

It may seem like a small thing; to feel no need to cry when sick but it’s a step, and that’s what evolving is, right?…steps toward change?  For a few moments yesterday, I felt in such a positive place.  I knew with clarity that life can’t be forced.  I have set things in motion, I have dealt my hand and now I am witnessing my life blossom, apparently without my even knowing.

Marvelous!

 

On no pressure

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We have to remember that it’s okay to not know the outcome of something right now, or now, or now.  That we are good and fine with each moment, and that the answers will arrive in their own time.  No matter how long that time may be.

This week, I have neither retreated nor come forward.  I am seemingly in stasis, whereby I can neither give to nor receive anything emotional from my husband.  He gives to me, I see it, but I am unable to absorb it or let it be what he wants it to be in me.  I can give him love and gratitude and friendship but I can provide nothing more.

I am at the beginning of learning to be okay with relinquishing control.  No easy feat when it has been the driving force for so long.  It feels foreign.  At times, as though I am floundering.  Am I doing it right?  Shouldn’t I be feeling this, or that?

There is no right or wrong to what you feel.  You just feel.  Or you don’t.  Perhaps the feeling will return.  Perhaps it’s the same but coming at you from a different angle.  When it reaches its destination, hopefully you will know what to do that is best for you.

I have remembered this in a mantra form quite successfully this week whenever I begin to feel overwhelmed.  I breathe deeply, pause, and accept the dull ache in my solar plexus; the worry, and I give it space.  In this way, I will avoid becoming wound up in it.

 

Beautiful Dysfunctionality

Allowing this morning’s counseling session to sink in raises my awareness level, and that feels wonderful.

Unless you’re a deadbeat parent, the need to mother, to nurture, and to care for is like a flower that instantly blossoms.  It’s natural and totally one-sided, and that’s ok because that’s what you do as a parent.  Your kid takes and you give, and hopefully you find some morsel of time to replenish so that the well never dries completely.

Things go awry when adults materialize beside the same water source, and now it becomes an unconscious giving.  You love them too, and they need you to care for them for unseen, unrealized reasons, so you dish out for the adult.  Oftentimes, it’s not even a conscious thought; you just do because you have to.  Because this is what you are supposed to do.

You might have the opportunity to restock but you know that if you step away, the one person you have been supporting might crumble, and with it, the life you know. It’s not the best life for you, you know it deep down somewhere, but you daren’t let go because he needs you to be strong, to be the source, to be in his pocket.

Eventually, and inevitably, the well will dry up for him.  Not for the kids, because really their supply is unending and unconditionally always there.  But for him, that well is just a parched, dark brick round reaching down into nowhere.  You stand up; the world tilts for a while as you process what has been happening and finally, with the help of an impartial spirit, you realize what it is  you have been doing.

For a few weeks, he and I have been treading our own paths; seeking our own truths.  It is lovely to see him shed some of the weight that he swore he’d never be able to put down. He is stepping out to investigate and discover about himself and I’m glad for him.  He is learning that it’s ok to drink from his own well, and for my part, I am learning that I don’t need to mother him.

That said, the woman who was part of this union, is but a dried up, withered spirit.  I don’t know if there is life in her because I am not her anymore.  And, I don’t know if who I truly am can ever be part of it again.

It’s been a beautiful awakening for me.  After years of struggle and spiritually backbreaking work, I can now stand up straight.  I can see how strong and powerful I really am. How free I am to breathe, and be, and give as needed.  To give for the want of it and not for the sacrifice.

Friday Fictioneers – Your Life, Your Choice

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Photo courtesy – Liz Young

Your Life, Your Choice

Word count:  100

 

Jeremy stared glumly down at the city; he could smell the destitution from up here. Another night had passed by on Knob Hill with a stolen six pack, and cigarettes.  However at some point, he’d discovered a mannequin head.  Her appearance was a mystery but Jeremy had named her Lucy.  As his buzz grew, he discovered how easy it was to talk to her.

Sometimes, he’d clutched her tightly and screamed; he’d cradled her in his chest while deep, wretched sobs roiled from him.  Sometimes, he’d simply looked at her.

This morning, Jeremy knew he had always had a choice.

 

The Notion

Metaphorically, most of us discard some things to keep hold of the other things in our arms, be it a lover, a toxic friend, a hobby that’s been outgrown, bad food, whatever…the importance of what you currently cradle is greater.  But, as we amble or race (however you choose to move) along our journey, those discarded things can be found glinting on the side of the road once again.  Certainly, picking up an old lover wouldn’t be considered a good thing, nor the crappy food that we kicked to the curb

But, some things perhaps they call as a small voice; not heard as a sound but a notion.

Even as I sit here, I am hesitant; do I have the will to pick up with this blog again?  Haven’t I said everything I wanted to say?  Who the hell is interested anyway?

In my arms, already a life filled with growing children and their activities. My time is spent ferrying them places, or exercising, cooking, cleaning, working…certain things that weren’t so significant when I started this blog.

I’ve not forgotten entirely what it is to be spiritual or mindful because there are moments, sporadic moments, when I ask “Am I still here?” and the affirmation floats up with a, yes, I Am still here.

So, why am I here?  I don’t know.  The notion to come here has popped up several times over the past few weeks, so today I decided to use my lunchtime wisely and try it out again; to heed the notion instead of brushing it aside.

Perhaps it’s a call to be creative again since that is most sorely lacking in my life.

Oh look, there it is – Creativity.  Glittering on the side of the road.  I can pick it up but what do I discard to make room for it?  Do I need to discard anything at all?  Can’t I have it all?

I’ll see.

 

Slowing down outside the comfort zone

kb_Parkes_Michael-The_Juggler_1981Sometimes an opportunity comes your way that from first glance, appears to be a forced hand. You feel as if you have no other option but to take it; staying in the current situation would be far worse in the long run. So, you grab the hand that’s offered and fly with it.

Some time passes in this new realm and you are actually rather enjoying it. You are challenged every day to think differently, to work differently, and to behave differently. You are learning and doing things that you thought were far beyond your capabilities. In fact, for much of your adult life, you laughed at the prospect of doing just this kind of work because you believed yourself not to be intelligent enough in the field.

You spent all of your life maybe, preparing for this sharp turn along your journey. Perhaps a lifetime of rushing headlong, of acting first and thinking later, of jumping without looking just wore a soul out and now it’s ready to take its time. Certainly, this new direction calls for thinking things through. It might take a little time to get used to but you are fortunate to have the support of some really great people who had the foresight to find the person who would fit, rather than the person with the qualifications.

The only downside is the lack of time for the creative side; writing and theatre have to take a backseat. When you ponder that, you’re not as disappointed as you thought you would be. Well, perhaps a little melancholy because you have so many efforts sitting out there waiting for more words to be added. You believe there will be time in the future to revisit but for now, you are content with everything in your life. You are fine and settled and just right with your world and everyone in it.

Time to cruise outside the comfort zone.