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!

 

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.

Peaks to Valleys

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Carefree to careworn overnight. It’s been coming for a while; another rolling wave crashing upon a peaceful shore, threatening the careful facade, and fragile sandcastles.

The same old, same old worries and frustrations that dog us, bark alongside us, remind us of our position of lack, make it so difficult to turn that canine on its head, and find ways to express our needs and wants from a positive position.

The routinely outturned pockets, offering fluffy nothings. Holey clothes, children’s worn shoes wincing as for bike brakes. Desperate for respite.

The wave builds. The alcoholic crutch returns. The creeping excuses, and rationalizations. Building, building. Disgruntled. Self-judgment. More wine, please. More chips, please. Enabler, enabled.

And crash…

Tucked away today, in my cave. Tired. Thinking. Planning. Determined. Trying not to berate.

Dammit. Summer’s coming. Back on the clean wagon. Must to be fiercely erecting barricades all around to stop from falling off.

I hope I can still see the scenery through the gaps.

 

Bob and Weave

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Bob and Weave…current companions. Unlike the boxing reference, they lend themselves to a sort of waiting and watching phase.

I am adrift on a banal sea.  It’s unsettling so I work at letting it be, which is ironic because letting it be shouldn’t require any work.

Reached a creative impasse perhaps; took a dip into the bigger pool and I don’t want to return to the small one, where my legs hang over the side and I am unable to immerse myself completely. Taking some time to let the information soak in perhaps. After all this time cranking out little pieces, but dreaming of the next level, I took a successful plunge, and with just a  little more effort. Maybe I’m absorbing, conceiving, ingesting.

Ready to shuck off the last traces of a dead horse; tired of its hanging on, pleading conversations in my head. The back and forth Jekyll and Hyde. Something decisive done there. All that is required now is acceptance of the real truth that some things, some people, some situations will evoke negativity, no matter how I slather it in sweet frosting.

Second chances. I give myself second, third, fourth….many chances. In life, it’s how we learn and grow, right? I met a person yesterday who, I just discovered, must be going through a huge second chance. I wouldn’t have known about this person’s history if their handwriting had been legible but there the story was, on the internet for all to see. Initially, I wanted to find another company, but as the information applied itself, I realized this person deserves my chance, my opportunity. As long as they don’t mess with me because this girl can throw a punch.

So, although it may appear that I’m bobbing and weaving in a humdrum sea, I guess there’s much more going on behind the scenes. Which is fine; I’ll let the outside take a break, eat a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, and wait until the little beavers are done catching up.

 

Sunflower Mind

Part of the awareness growing in the last year has become more prevalent of late. I want to write about it without flaunting it, without it seeming as if I’m bragging because it’s not like that at all. It’s a quiet thing; a baby really – not that babies are quiet at all – I guess I mean in the ‘smallest’ sense. I’ve written about writing before as a snake, a monster, the tail of some unearthly creature come to whip me into shape. I’ve written about it as collecting grains of sand to build a giant sandcastle at some later date. And to some extent, those metaphors remain a little true. But with growth and strength of mind comes also change. Change in vision, in the path to get to a certain point, in the way of doing things.

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This week I piggy-backed on a piece of flash fiction I wrote last week by turning it into a one act play; the theatre group I belong to had a need for a few more to complete their line up.

I’ve written a number of flash fiction pieces for Friday Fictioneers, and dabbled with expanding them into larger works but in this relatively new arena (which is actually fairly old, I just haven’t been here for many years) larger works are elusive. The way is hazy as if I had stretched out my fingers to move forward but no amount of headlight will help me find the tips or the way ahead.

So, I wrote this one act. And I whipped up another Friday Fictioneers piece of 100 words.

What I want to say is that I am in love with how my creative mind is slowly cranking into life. I look at the picture presented and it’s as if I plant a seed; just stick it in the groundmind and let it do its thing. No work, no pressure, no force. Images come to mind, the first few words appear and off I go, sailing down a little hill on a homemade go-kart until I come to a stop at the end. Looking back up the hill, I make note of bumps, smooth them out, tidy up a bit. 

And smile. Inwardly and outwardly; smile at the observation of my own self. And that’s the key. Nothing as jolting or jarring as vicious snakes rising up from the depths, simply the act of nurturing a talent by letting it just be. By planting the intention and allowing my soul to do the rest.

Perhaps this is the way then for me? To write lots of small stuff, so that my imagination is fertile enough, rich enough to grow more than a daisy.  Perhaps one day, I’ll have a really big sunflower!

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Hello and welcome

Some mornings after the kids have gone their way and I am in the car to work, I think that I need to find a quote or an affirmation for my day.  Much like holding tightly to a balloon string, I hope that it will keep me steady and aloft during what could be a turbulent day or one that is slightly off-kilter.

I forget often that I am my own balloon and string.  Sure, the words I would eventually find might offer solace and comfort or be a momentary guide but essentially, I am the only one who can glide above the crap.

Having said that, some things I have read have stuck and are helpful.  One phrase (which I shall paraphrase because the exact wordage has faded) goes along the lines of “Whatever knocks at the door of your soul, be it anger, fear, disappointment, happiness, joy, whatever…open the door and welcome it.  Whatever it is will not stay but while it is there, be a most welcome and gracious host.”  I take it to mean that it is up to me to observe and feel and to avoid being carried away by undercurrent to a place where I am no longer in control.a_red_balloon

I’m not quite sure why I feel a faded shade of blue today.  It’s possible in part to my son’s expected reaction to starting a new school and subsequent sickness on day two.  It’s also possible in part to the attachment I have to my car which will be an unattachment very soon, I discovered yesterday.

It’s silly to feel the sting of an impending cheerio for an inanimate object but my car has many memories attached to it.  Since I got her in 2010, I have run the gamut of situations and emotions.  She has been there for me through every time capsule of anger, guilt, rage, fear, love, passion, wonder, confusion, worry, joy, hope.  Like a soothing blue angel, she wrapped herself around me, comforted me and allowed me room to express.  She opened up and gave me space to be lifted when I felt at my most happy.  To feel this strongly is trivial and natural at the same time and I will miss her for a while when she is gone.

Also, I am, as the English part of me would say, gutted, that I may be unable to accept a sudden opportunity.  This, due to the new Autumn schedule for our kids.  On one hand, I am delighted that we are finally able fund extra-curricular activities and yet the timing puts a crimp on my own loves.  And so, a feeling of ambiguity has stepped across my threshold and I am breathing deeply to allow it room.

How fickle the human nature.  How wondrous.  To be able to feel happy and lithe only to tumble down to feel the opposite.  Up and down we go, and around and around.

All the while I continue to learn and grow.  I open the door every day to whatever is knocking.  Some days the balloon stands no chance against my guest and I do get swept up. For some time there is no way for my feet to touch the floor but I am so grateful when they finally do, because they always do…eventually.

And there I am again, at my front door, holding my own balloon and string, taking a deep breath.

What’s on your plateau?

I am not lost. I am not in a quandary. I am not confused. I have simply…taken a step away. Definitely in a spiritual valley, a lower plateau so to speak, certainly not on any part of the journey that slopes upward to a peak affording magnificent views of the land ahead.

I felt it, a certain snapping last week during a particularly hellish emotional time, which bore the fruit of my last post. Initially I had prepared myself for a big change; an impending house move – another move in a long 43-year timeline of moves. Except this one had snuck up early and at first I was a bit out of sorts about it but came back around to my usual, “y’know…it’s gonna be ok, home is where my family is and that’s what’s important.” I laughed at that, my husband rolled his eyes good-naturedly and we swept any concerns about the wheres and the hows under the now, very lumpy rug.

Money’s Too Tight To Mention so sang Mick Hucknall and it has held true for too many years but we could see a light at the end of the tunnel, my husband and I. He had started to bring home a real, honest-to-goodness paycheck and so was I. He had a plan to pay off some very important overdue bills so that by the end of this month, we could begin to put aside funds for the move….deposit, moving company etc.

The most pressing thing was to keep our kids in their current school; we felt another switch so soon after making new friends and finding a new rhythm would be too hard on them, despite their resilience and adaptability. Thanks to a rather nice Delaware education clause named “Choice”, we found out that we could move out of the school district yet still keep them in the same school, so that gave us some breathing room. With that in mind, and now with a sense of urgency, we expanded our search of homes to surrounding towns but it soon became apparent that we were woefully short of the amount needed to move into anywhere. We were also uncomfortably aware that our past credit history would drag behind us like an anvils tied to our legs. It began to feel hopeless. Then my husband delivered another blow which I was totally unprepared for; a possible move out of state to a townhome owned by a builder who knows a business partner of a friend, who knows this guy and is the accountant of that friend who knows his Dad – yada, yada, yada. The feeling of puppetry working all over us, herding and shuffling us around from here to there, forcing us to obediently bow and scrape our thank you’s and gratefulness was the final straw. You see, it’s a continuing theme in our lives – this lack of control.

I threw my spiritual hands in the air; had enough of believing in source and abundance and love. I relinquished it all and have not felt at all like meditating or reading my favorite uplifting blogs or having anything at all remotely to do with wellbeing, mindfulness, love, light and spirit. I am not the least bit interested. Neither am I bothered by my indifference. I know the true me is there, always will be, would never abandon me because that’s impossible. And no doubt I will return in my own good time. I don’t want to admit that “I’m just being” or “I am letting it be”. To say it implies that I am interested when I just don’t care right now. That’s not to say that I’m grouchy and miserable either (although I am on the tail end of the flu, so may be forgiven for being a bit limp) I’m not at all. I’m civil, I’m nice and I’m genuinely kind. I’m…simply holding steady, I think.

My husband would like to see me back on track; he feels a certain responsibility for my current location and I would just like to say that no matter the lowest of lows and the joyous high of highs, I wouldn’t want to be stuck in the trenches with anyone else but him, even if I want to flick trench mud in his face from time to time.

And so we wait, almost as if on the precipice of someplace. We wait for news of a place to move into which all hinges on background checks, credit checks, references etc. It’s a nice place that we could afford after a little help getting our feet in the door. And I wait for news of a short story…will be published, will it be rejected?

We wait. And no matter what happens or what direction we go in, we take steps forward together. And I will come back to the spiritual when I’m ready because sometimes, you just gotta take a break.

I have sheep on my plateau!

I have sheep on my plateau!

Ell…