I have to say I enjoy the Spanish words for “Good Evening” more than any other language. For some reason, those words feel so sublime and exude a sort of warmth.. A simmering or smoldering feeling… like the best summer nights we are all waiting for…doesn’t that very thought make you smile…
Let’s talk about rest.
Say it out loud a few times. Because reading a word and saying it feels differently.
It sounds like a reclining word, doesn’t it? Or like it’s eyes are gently closed with a soothing on it’s face.
Relaxing, restoring, rejuvenating. Resting.
I tend to think of rest requiring some kind of lesser noisiness as well. We don’t want to disturb it now, do we?
I think it needs a kind of internal stillness. Except for your ever beating heart. Have you considered recently how very relentless your heart is?
I could safely say that my modus operandi in this life is “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”.
All GO, Almost All the time. Though I have learned to sleep in the past 5 years.
The phrase “Pace yourself” has always failed my understanding. I can pace myself in the fast lane, but slowing down outside of my sleep hygiene ritual is hard for me to take. I can sit in the silence of my home for an hour or two. I can bask in a sunrise or sunset or the sun shining into my home. I can sit with my cats and dogs and give them their due appreciation. I can savor my food, music, good books, an hour of tv, for a short duration. I can enjoy my garden. I feel I have a solid daily appreciation of the sensual beauty of this life. But I wouldn’t call it rest.
And it has recently come to my attention that I should take a rest sometimes.
I hadn’t taken a day off from working out in so long I can’t remember. Last summer I started working out hard everyday and never stopped…if I was my client, I would have a lecture for that…your body needs to recuperate and recover. It needs rest outside of sleep.
I am honestly terrible at resting. I feel guilty for it and I’m not sure where that is coming from.
Do you allow yourself to rest? OR is this just my problem?
Since I’m all about embracing uncomfortable things, I decided to not work out on this past Friday and yesterday…of course I went back to it today. I also slept in late this weekend and didn’t do as much as I usually do. I’m not sure if that’s actually what “rest” is, but I’m working on it.
Personally, I feel like I have conquered a serious week of too much. Too much at work and too much to take care of in my personal space. Too much for my body. I don’t feel that very often.
But what’s most important is that I have arrived here.
One week older…YOU are in fact one week older now.
Do you ever think about it? Getting older that is?
How do you feel about it? And where did you learn how to feel about it?
Are you allowing others to determine how you fell about that?
When I was teaching hot power yoga, I had a couple of women in class tell me that when I reached my 40s I was going to spontaneously begin to love wine AND gain weight. I was in my mid-30s at the time and I thought what a horrible thing to say to a younger woman. What kind of sisterhood is this? And maybe their experience wasn’t going to be mine, so WTF??
Safe to say, 40 came and went and yea, not only did I never acquire a taste for wildly consuming wine, I have not had any change in body composition. In fact, I’m on the flip side of my mid-40s, and yea, still going strong. I actually got fitter last year, because I started doing more weight training.
And that’s not meant as a brag, but rather a message to all the women out there who are younger than me, age isn’t something to give up to, but rather a realization that it’s same same. We all have been aging since our first breath in this world. It’s just that we have all these mile markers in youth that make it a celebration of accomplishments and then in your late 20s, that tends to die down.
The question is WHY?
Why do we want to spend the rest of our lives, which by the way is equal at least to the length of time that you have already been here, being miserable about something we cannot control?
Since I have been in my current professional occupation, I have had the privilege of learning where the boundary of “OLD” really lies and let me tell you, it’s a helluva long ways a way from 30, 40, 50, 60, 70s even.
There is something that happens to us around 85 where it appears our bodies make some kind of invisible choice to either continue to thrive or start shutting it down. I could speculate as to why, but there appear to be way too many variables to point the finger at a particular guilty party. I feel 85 is a good age where you may refer to yourself as old. If you feel the need…
What I can say with some certainty is this: AGE IS THE ACCUMAULTION OF YOUR LIFE CHOICES. NOT A NUMBER.
Read that 5 times.
The choices you make have repercussions both positive and negative.
Aging is essentially the product of your math.
Yea, it’s a theory. Yes, another one. They’re just gonna keep coming, so you should get used to it….
Life is really all about bad or good math. Choices we make involving bad bets on the percentages, not adding up things correctly or forgetting to subtract debts in all the aspects of our life. And we will all do a lot of bad math before we die.
Fun example: Squirrels, not dumb animals, but seriously the ones hit by cars, that’s bad math. They didn’t do the proper calculations on the speed of the vehicle, the distance they had to cross on that particular road and how fast they could run. Bad math.
Humans, SO MANY EXAMPLES of bad math. Just think about it.
The quality of your age has everything to do with your math skills.
Excessive drinking, social drug use, smoking, eating a lot of sugar, not moving, not sleeping well, not getting serious about your mental health, how you handle stress, your illnesses, overutilizing pharmaceuticals versus learning to be an advocate for yourself, not drinking enough water, all big subtraction. A deficit that you create in your body.
The reverse or opposite of ALL THOSE THINGS, are positives in your body.
Aging is your equation of those things and your ability to navigate them. Seek answers, be curious and learn about your body/your vehicle, be honest with yourself, and remember nothing is set in stone or predestined, you have the power to ALWAYS change course. You are in fact Dorothy who was always wearing those ridiculous shoes.
Aging is no more of an issue than you make it. I’m completely serious…
I have to also add a few words here that the reason I thought about this topic this morning was because I found myself tearing up at the kitchen sink thinking about Dave. I find that randomly happens…
THIS SONG came up on my Bose. (Yes, go listen to it. I’ll wait. It’s very important to hear this one.) A few days before his suicide, I had heard it again and found myself drawn to it. I kept listening to it and wondering if he had ever heard it. I thought about the fact that is seemed we were becoming friends finally after the divorce. After everything. I thought how grateful I was that I wouldn’t be in my singledom alone. I thought I should tell him both these things. I didn’t. And then he was gone.
Dave’s suicide made me feel old for the first time in my entire life. I think because I realized that for the rest of my life he wouldn’t be simultaneously alive with me on this Earth. And I realized how long I may have left here to live without him. He would never become an old man. He wouldn’t see how his story really ended. Or the ending I hoped he would have.
And for me this is a part of my equation now. I have to figure out how I can add enough positive into my life to take on that kind of subtraction. Because these emotions have a seriously huge number, but I’ve determined I can find an offset in the years to come. I believe he would want me to.
I didn’t really plan out this whole writing everyday for 30 day event very well, did I? This week is stuffed so full that I have not been able to fit in my time here with you beautiful people. My apologies to you and to myself as well. I disappoint myself when I fail to arrive here because it matters to me. It’s hard to select what has to fall away sometimes in order for other things to be accomplished. And I’m yet to figure out how to do it all. I’m still working out this whole how to do life thing. Trying to align my values with my behaviors.
Because you should know if I’m writing about, I’m struggling with it to. I do not have anything more figured out than anyone else. In fact, I think we each have pieces of life figured out, but no one gets the whole cake. We can share the same recipe, but it never tastes the same from human to human.
One of my closest friends had surgery Tuesday morning, so I’ve been doing whatever I can to help her, this is a very hectic work week, there’s working out everyday, walking dogs, cleaning up EVERYTHING and all the general nonsense that keeps a human life in motion and just exhaustion. It’s exhausting. I have felt tangibly exhausted.
I made a cake last night and iced it this morning for one of my meetings today. THE meeting of my day, which is where I present my proposed annual budget to the Board of Directors I work for… I tend to pry them with desserts. Not that they won’t show up, but my baking capabilities are bordering on legend at this point.
Ok, maybe not legend, but I do make really good sweet stuff…anyhow, I was thinking about a few things this morning and so, here we go:
That phrase, “Have your cake and eat it too.” What kind of ridiculousness is that? If you have cake, you are going to eat it. What else is cake for? And why would you want to both keep it and eat it..it’s gonna spoil, especially if it has cream cheese frosting. Everything good has an expiration, doesn’t it? Think about it…
Obviously I had to google it and Google says:
Itmeans you can’t eat a cake and continue to possess that cake once you’ve consumed it. The use of the phrase, therefore, is to tell someone that they can’t have two good things that don’t normally go together at the same time, like eating a cake and then continuing to possess that same cake so you can eat later.
I think there is something fundamentally wrong with humans. It’s like every other lifeform on Earth just goes with the flow of life, BUT NOT US, why is that??
Why do we insist on making things so damn difficult?
Why do we so often sour our appreciation with wanting more?
Why do we want what we know we cannot have? Why do we seek that kind of frustration?
Because I have to tell you, I’d rather eat my cake and savor it. AND in a way, I do get to keep it. You keep the memory of it’s taste, texture, flavor subtleties and that moment. I think there is alot to be said for appreciating rarity versus wanting a never ending supply of something.
One of the photos I included in a this post, was a piece of red velvet cake. Or what was left of it. It was my birthday, I had just cut off all my hair, Dave was with me in one of favorite dining establishments and they brought it out as a surprise. Because they overheard us talking about my birthday and there are kind people in this world still. It was a surprise and not on their menu. Only for birthdays. And I never had another piece again. It was the best red velvet ever in the history of my life. And there’s something about the fact that I couldn’t have it again that for me really sweetens that whole memory. Which is why I took that photo.
The experience of having it and savoring it so fully that one time was enough.
Speaking of enough, yesterday I had a rather heartbreaking conversation with one of my favorite people. He reads this actually and he is 85 currently. He is on my Board and over the years we have become something near family. Yesterday he brought information about Excel, which is a program I despise but he runs quite easily, in case he wasn’t here sometime soon. And it hit me all at once just how close he might be to the out door of this life. After he left, I sat and cried because I don’t want him to go wherever we go next. I am not ready.
And it has been my sincerest privilege to know you and your wife.
This morning I realized, people are the best cake that we don’t just want to consume, but keep forever. But we can’t. That’s not the design, is it? It’s just the worst thing isn’t it? And we are all single pieces never to be consumed twice. No two will ever taste the same.
So my thought for your day is to savor everyone in your life. And don’t want what you cannot have, which is forever. Because it robs the moment of what you do have, which is now.
I’ve decided that Spring is nature’s version of bad dating…hear me out. You give me these amazing sunny warm days where I get to lie on my patio in shorts and bask in the splendor, which was yesterday, but then that wonderousness disappears for a few days or more. I don’t understand what just happened, weren’t we having a great time? Or was too exhausting for you? Was my happiness just too much for you? Were you overcome with emotions you weren’t ready for or is it too soon to commit to the next season??
WTF?? How am I suppose to walk my dogs on these crappy borderline Spring-ish fling mornings?
Then I realized, I think this is how it is every year. I get so excited and then so disappointed…expectations do not always serve us well, do they? Certainly not when we can’t differentiate between what we expect and what we just hope for…
And I just think I’ve got alot riding on this one, I’m trying to secure myself on the other side of grief and I just need some cooperation here…but that’s really about me isn’t it? This is not how partnership works. I’m gonna have to sort this one out with relying on Spring…
Since it’s Monday, I thought I would discuss something that I find very helpful and yet challenging. It’s a very necessary perpetual practice in my life. It’s one of the most important skills I have gleamed from therapy.
As I have said before, let’s be clear, therapy isn’t a cure. It’s where I go to learn skills to survive my humanity. And I go to therapy for a sounding board and I’m a big believer that it’s something we need to normalize. Zero shame, all awesomeness that’s what I’m saying…
And it’s just like Robert Frost’s poem says, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.“
So go get a pen and paper. I’ll wait…
And no, we are not using our cell phones, actually writing the words here is important.
Here is the question my therapist asked me many moons ago: What do you value? Make a list.
And this isn’t a right or wrong answer, but 100% honesty is required. If you are not honest with yourself, you are lying to everyone else as well. And you need yourself here.
What do you value?
Take your time, just listen to what you hear inside. Don’t wait forever, don’t try to make it look like a good list, because you know the answer.
The list does not need to be a novel, just what speaks to you…
Here is most of mine…
HOME, honesty, compassion, Friends/Family, Furry kids, Health/Mobility, Humility, Tenacity, Vulnerability, Acceptance, Discipline, Kindness, Intelligence, Stability, Communication, Learning, Adventure, Inner peace, Trying new things, Bravery and a handful more.
I wrote this list over a year ago, and I’ve actually crossed off some things and added new things since then. Or refined a word. And that’s how we work, our values change based on what we learn about ourselves, right? Our values change based on experiences and the ability to recognize what no longer serves us.
Or maybe we realize there is something we’ve been missing and when we find it, like a little seashell on the beach of life, we pick it up and put in our little mental pockets we all have inside. We want to carry it with us.
Now here is the hard part, this is the bread and butter. This is what it’s all about:do you base your behavior on your values? Or are you basing it on your emotions and immediate desires or need for gratification?? Or is your behavior a misaligned coping mechanism that needs more exploration?
Get honest. Try not to judge yourself too harshly because remember you are the only person in this whole world who will never leave you and therefore, ya gotta learn to like this person and believe in this person. Get on your team. No matter what other persons have told you…
I have my list in my planner, I see it everyday and I find that the more I work on it, the easier it becomes. I’m not saying I get it right all the time, because I don’t… I think we go into autopilot so much in this society that we really don’t pay attention to what we do each day…Do you remember what you did yesterday?
This is not an easy thing, BUT if you will consistently do the work and observe as you are about to make a decision or react or behave in a certain way, you might be surprised to see how often you abandon what you value.
Just pause and ask yourself, does what I’m about to do align with my values? Am I making this choice from that place or where is it coming from?
Make this Monday worth something is what I’m saying… Take in all words I just left here for you. Make a list. Trust me this one time. It works. Not easily, but there is a feeling that this cultivates inside that I would diminish with mere words.
And HAPPY SUNDAY, or my day as I call it…WELCOME TO MY DAY!!
I mean technically, yes this is pretty much the day we have established as God’s day, but for me, it’s the day of the week that is always mine. Meaning I don’t share it with others very often. Because I think it’s important that we each have a day that is ours during the week whether it be to take some spontaneous adventure or bask in the silence or take a long walk or tend to something that requires your attention or just sit for awhile on your own. Let yourself unfurl. Even inside of chores on this day, there is something really good still.
Now to all the naysayers, yes, it’s easier to accomplish this if you are single and live on your own. Allow me to acknowledge my privilege here. If you have a partner or children, perhaps you could negotiate how this works. For each other. Because the longer I’m alive, the more I have realized that if we cannot function wholly on our own, we cannot be truly good for each other.
We extend whatever energy is inside us to everyone around us.
So, BEING ALONE, ON YOUR OWN, have you done that lately?
And I mean by choice, not this weird domestic house arrest that COVID has placed all of us under for crimes we have not bothered to understand.
I mean CHOOSE for YOU…try it…where there is a will, there is a way.
I think this day, Sunday, has a sort of cadence unlike other days in terms of time. Maybe that’s why God gets this day, because a God would certainly not obey something like time, would they? Why is there time anyways, have you ever thought about that? Humans created a way to measure it, but where did it come from…
I’ve experienced more Sundays than I can count where minutes and hours seems to lie down and release their grip on my life. I also stay away from clocks on Sunday and just move. But I tell you, time does not work the same on Sunday…
In fact, if you choose another day to make yours, lemme know if that still applies…the cat napping time that is.
As far as GOD, I’m not quite sure if that’s what I would call what I believe in at this point in my life…I’m not sure where Dave went, or any of the other people I’ve lost. I don’t think it’s as simple as most religion has us believe, I think it’s way more nuanced.
Since Dave died, I have had three specific instances where I know he was here, in this house. With me. The first was on the night I found out he was gone. I came home and his TV was on. I had not been in the room in days. And I could feel him.
The next time occurred shortly a few days later, I was listening to THIS SONG for the first time on that same television (go listen to it) or THIS VERSION, and there is a line that says, “I’ll take all the love and all the pain” and just all of the words. Every word felt like an ushering forward, like a message, because I found the song just then. Like he wanted me to keep moving on. And I just sat there, music pouring out of the sound system, balling my eyes out, but I know he was there. Sitting next to me.
And lastly, I had a dream unlike any dream I’ve ever had…he was leaving and we were in the house he always wanted to build. I was offering to pack up his stuff and he said where he was going he didn’t need any of it. And we were kissing and then he vanished. And it was gone, but the weirdest feeling of my whole life. Like my mind had been violated.
Some part of me felt though in those moments like maybe he didn’t fully realize what he had done. How could he…
I can’t help but feel that there is no way for anyone in that situation, choosing suicide that is, to realize the true gravity of what they are deciding, If that makes sense…we cannot know what our death is until we cross that line.
I believe there is something happening here in this life, there is an unseen connection between all living souls and all the souls who have been here before. Something that makes each one of us necessary. Something greater than us. Maybe a God, but something we can feel when we are alone with ourselves.
It is a quiet hum. Almost. And if you sit still, it’s almost a whisper. It is the thing that I was referring to in my last post about magic. It is the way we meet and the way we choose inside ourselves. It is the thing that propels most of us forward. It’s found in the moment a child is born and in the moment we each leave. It is outside in nature and in the eyes of my dogs, my cats and each other. It is something beyond our control that we will fail to notice when we are so busy.
It’s the thing about taking a day of your own, there are moments.
AND whatever comes next after we die and whatever came before we were born that something connects us all together in a way that our human minds can not yet comprehend. I’m not sure we even have the vocabulary. I think it applies to everything that is living here with us. In a way it is unseen but waiting for us to notice if but for just a day. Or a moment.
And I don’t think it’s mine alone, or even meant just for me. I think it is inside of all of us. But I wanted to tell you about it, in case you’re missing it. Maybe you’ve been seeking it without even knowing. I think it wants you to you give yourself space and time to breathe, just so you know it’s there…
I’m still struggling to figure out where to begin talking about Dave’s suicide and my feelings about it in a way that will hopefully be helpful and insightful versus just a lot of loud words scrambled around on the page.
I do not under any circumstances wish for my words to resemble Shakespeare’s line from MacBeth “Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” Because right now, that’s where I’m at. And in the moments, where my thoughts and feelings have felt organized in a more eloquent way I’ve been nowhere near pen and paper or keyboard. But I know it’s coming..
Until then, perhaps a more intriguing and lighter dish befitting a Friday morning…
I was thinking this morning about how the conditions were not quite right for a walk. Abit too cold, it was 39 degrees and abit soppy wet from all the rain, which would prevent us from walking our usual route. In case you didn’t know, dogs are creatures of habit, just like us. And when I deviate from the regular path, it seems to cause abit of a dust up.
This got me to thinking though about how many elements have to come together or into fruition to create really great moments in life. You know what I mean, those moments where you stop and take notice of something particularly exquisite. And think, remember this...The times when life is fully realized for the gift it is.
Maybe it’s A particularly delicious fruit. A really transcendent emotion. A kiss. A first embrace. THE first cry of your baby. THE first time you meet someone. A conversation on a phone late at night. THE way the sunlight sneaks through and shines. THE stars in the sky. THE weather on a particular day/night. THAT sunrise. THAT sunset. A look in the eyes of someone you love. ONE act of kindness or compassion or curiosity satisfied. A moment of realization.
Just ONE moment where it’s magic. And it is magic, don’t sell it short, because most of life is mundane and practical and required living. For these moments to occur, everything aligns, all the senses and your soul. And like magic, it’s gone almost as quickly as you realize it’s here.
And we cannot control it or force it or replicate it, that’s why it’s magic.
These things don’t happen often, not the REALLY REALLY good ones.
I’m not even sure if other people can see these things or it’s just me. But I hope you do.
Dave always said he couldn’t.
And I’m not saying they are always joy-filled, but rather life-filled. They feel full in every sense. Full of the gravity of being human. Full of my life. They make life really real.
And I feel somewhat certain that these things belong to this place, Earth and wherever we go next, I don’t think these exist, not like we sense them here.
And I just so happen to have few in photos, so I’m just gonna roll them out now.
Since you aren’t me, you really can’t feel what they meant to me, but just know that what I am showing you is magic.
I woke up to another dreary day and decided I’d try a little experimental writing to amuse myself and hopefully you laugh a little as well…enjoy!!
To whom it may concern,
This is not the Spring that I ordered from your catalog. Obviously someone sent me the wrong item and I’m gonna need to talk to your supervisor to straighten this mess out. I have been a good customer all my life and this is just unacceptable. I’d also like to preface that I did not request a refund for the item you sent during thisWinter, when I purchased “Winter Wonderland” and you sent me what I can only describe as a simulation of planet Hoth.
In early February, I ordered “Glorious Spring”. The product description included warmer days with features of sunshine, birds singing, grass growing with simultaneous tree budding, earlier sunrises with occasional moments of transcendent beauty ideal for early morning outdoor activity, mostly clear skies with light breezes and all the stars in heaven at night. Additionally, there would be occasional showers to grow my May flowers. This product was guaranteed to warm the soul and provide ample amounts of hope to give the purchaser all the energy required to create positive change in their life.
“Occasional” does not mean raining over 48 hours straight. And with no sun in sight. I know it’s out there somewhere, SOMEWHERE, but seriously do I have to go drag it down here myself?? And yes, the birds are randomly singing, and the grass is growing, but look at my poor flowers. JUST LOOK AT THEM!! Perhapssomeone has broken the tap on the God water system?? Is it a plumbing issue? Do you need the number for a plumber?
Or maybe my item has gotten lost in the mail? Maybe you substituted my purchase without my permission believing that I would not realize this is not my order? Because J.Crew did that one time, and look how that turned out for them.
Or was it so poorly handled in shipping that it’s broken, and this is what happens when it’s broken? Is it broken??
Look, here’s the thing, I’m trying to change my life for the better, recovering from one of the most heart breaking experiences of my life, and starting a new business that will partially operate outdoors. Spring is about starting anew, right? THIS is the kind of thing that drives people into the deepest recesses of their bed, never to return again.
I’m willing to work with you because I know that seasonal weather items are “temperamental” and there is always some responsibility on the part of the buyer, but I just started using this item and again, it’s not acceptable.And I really don’t want to leave a poor review on your website because I’m usually a fan of your products and I regularly recommend them to others.
Please respond within 24 hours with either a refund of my purchase, a new item, or some kind of repair to fix it. It appears I’m probably going to be one of your customers for quite awhile longer as I’m only maybe half way through my journey on this planet, so I would hate for our relationship to become contentious for the remaining duration.
It stormed here last night to such a degree that I have had to call off our morning walk on the account of rain. More than likely it will be rescheduled to a later time today.
Should it stop raining.
Let’s not be discouraged together.
I also find myself struggling with any words worth saying this morning. But I promised myself and you, that I will show up and say something…Here’s what comes to mind:
I think that one of the reasons change is so hard for humans is because we all secretly hope if we make the choice to change, the stars will align, the clouds will part and the path will be revealed. And that path will be an unencumbered one. Perhaps through a field of poppies or daisies or along the beach by the ocean or down a picturesque highway leading to a horizon with a setting sun or some glorious shit like that.
That is our tiny hope inside, the little flame that we are all carrying. Secretly.
BUT don’t we all know it won’t be that way?
Because what is the equivalent visual for the struggles you will encounter on your way to changing your life?
Would you go down a path that looked like it require a machete with perhaps a side arm? Or a large amount of bug spray? Maybe you’d actually just have to swath yourself in a layer of mesh to keep all the bugs out. Like a mesh mummy. Would you travel that path if you knew everything you are seeking was at the end?
Would you go into a volcano? A slightly active volcano. Like jump into it. Could you agilely hop across the little stones in a river of hot molten lava in order to retrieve the knowledge you require?
How about a suspicious splinter filled wooden bridge suspended over a gorge?
Or shark infested waters, while nursing a massive paper cut? Two things there, the blood. AND the stinging from the salt water. AND paper cuts hurt so disproportionately to the actual injury, don’t they? Would you do it?
How about green eggs and ham, with a guy named Sam? Because let’s be honest, that’s food poisoning waiting to happen…we just didn’t know that as kids…
How uncomfortable are you willing to be? (I’ve been asking myself these things lately)
Maybe it’s a question of how much Lara Croft or Indiana Jones do you have inside yourself?
The path to a different kind of life requires so much. So much work, so much discomfort, so much sacrifice, so many new things that you do not know how to do OR how you will do them OR learn them. But we have established that nothing worth having will come easy.
Of course what is easy is up for grabs, as we are all different in what we can tolerate in terms of loss and pain and judgement and disappointment and our ability to stand with ourselves, only ourselves at times.
And can you be inventive and responsive and flexible enough to allow your plans to be somewhat nebulous? Because adaptation is a key piece of any idea or plan or travel for that matter.
Can you handle your own emotions and thoughts and remain detached enough from them to keep a clear head?
Can you not attach to the outcome and instead take in the experience for what it’s worth, on it’s own merits, will that be enough?
WHAT IF YOU FAIL?
Is there such a thing as failure, really?
What if your life depends on this?
Mostly, since I work with actual elderly people, those who are in their 80s and above, it’s mostly the question of, are you living in a way that will make you happy when you are in your 80s and recalling your life?
Will your 80 year old self be proud of you?
If not, then here it is. Another day to take another step forward. Because it’s just one step at a time.
I gotta keep walking and so do you. I think it’s all we have in this life, forward.
And now a random pointless photo of Charlie. Because he is across from me, doing this and making me laugh about it.
AND….ONE LAST THOUGHT, and it’s a good one: Dave used to always say that I sought out books/stories about the guy/girl who climbed a mountain with a three legged dog and overcame some kind of huge obstacle against all odds. He teased me about it. And I realized somewhere in the past six months since his suicide, that I might be that girl. Because coincidentally I do in fact have a three legged creature for just such a climb. He’s right there in that photo.
Apparently, I’m going to pen another gardening related post here today…because it’s good for you or me, or both..
To say life has been abit bumpy lately would be an understatement. To say the suicide of your former partner is life altering would be criminally inadequate. To say that grief just abruptly ends and life is as it once was would be a lie. But I’ll talk about the depths of that grief and all the things that people feel you shouldn’t say, or are too uncomfortable to say very soon.
Today I want about the other side and how it seems to seep into our world. I’m not talking about angels or heaven or demons and hell, I’m not talking about ghosts, or even reincarnation, but the rather subtle signs that appear before us to remind us of those who are longer on this plane. A simple thing that may mean they are still here. Saying hello. Because everyone that you have loved and lost is still with you. I feel very strongly that the energy of their love and their life remains anchored in this world, in us, until we die. I don’t think we are really each other.
Let me set the scene: I’m outdoors gardening the weekend before last and I’m feeling pretty good. It’s good work if you can find it. And you most certainly should try it. And yea, I’m gonna keep telling you that, so just give in and go start a garden…
Over the past few weeks the weight of Dave’s suicide has been squarely on top of me. As I’m sure it’s weighing on all those in his family and friends. I’m certain to not be the only survivor who is treading in that particular ocean. Looking for the black box from his crash. Knowing that none of us will ever find it.
I have been rummaging around in my mind trying to get my thoughts together about so many things that until this last week, I have felt like I’m not really here. Or if I even want to be here, but I decided to plant the garden because it’s what I do this time every year. Because it gives me hope, a real solid kind of hope. And there is nothing more reassuring than watching life grow right in front of you, and under your care.
So I’m doing the gardening, planting the plants, digging in the dirt, hauling around the rocks and mulling around in my mind, and for some reason I just glanced up and saw this…
I bought pansies last year, which I have never planted before, because they reminded me of my Grandma Biv, whose name is Vivian but I had a problem saying “V”s as a kid and for some reason I continued to call her that all my life. A term of endearment. She passed away a few years ago and last year, I felt moved to plant these little guys. Because she would have liked them. And because it made me feel like she was there in my garden.
Pansies are not for my patio, too much sun, not enough shade. They had a marvelously abundant and yet short life last year. But when I saw this little one, randomly growing in between the cement slabs, I just had the strongest feeling that is was her saying you’re not alone, you’ll be alright. AND if a pansy can grow in this crack where it never grew before, then you can grow into new ways that you’ve never grown before.
Just think how hard that little guy had to work to grow there!!
Mostly, it was just the feeling of being not alone. She was here with me. Watching me. Rooting for me.
And I realized in that moment, she is who I learned to love gardening from. Her backyard was my favorite as a kid. She didn’t grow veggies, but she had pots of pansies and peonies and other flowers. And bunnies and birds. And bird feeders. And wonderful lush green grass. And she was always delighted by all of their splendor. It was her unbridled joy about it all that I remember the most.
And just like that, my hope came back.
I should mention it’s growing right next to my little random determined strawberry plant, that also lives in this particular crack in the patio…and it appears another pansy is growing there as well…
And I could not be happier to see life so determined to find a way. Just look at it seeping through the cracks of this world.
Thanks for showing up again, same time tomorrow??
Have you ever felt like someone you lost has visited you here on Earth? Have you continued to find hope in this rather difficult period of human life? I hope so…
Most important, when are you planting your own garden, hmmm??
It’s been a minute, how are we doing on this fine Monday?
I’ve decided to do a whole 30 days writing every single day journey again. Because I’m trying to reassemble my life in a way that makes me feel good about myself. I decided it’s time to give all the effort that I have inside me. This is the first morning I got out of bed at 5am, walked the ladies with the sunrise and now I’m here. This is me resetting my life. A life that I wholly want for myself.
I cleared and planted my garden a week ago. And once again, it’s a never ending source of just feeling goodness and joy in a way that only a garden can. I kid you not, I smile just typing those words. It warms my soul to say those words and to stand in their presence.
There is something about us, as in humans, that I genuinely 1000% believe needs to have that kind of connection to the Earth. Putting your hands and feet in dirt is the best. And I think if we all grew our own food it would change the way we eat. Nothing ever tastes as good as something you have grown for yourself. And I think widespread communal gardens could change the world. I know that’s a bold statement, but I’m dead serious. Everyone working together side by side with the common goal of nourishing ourselves and our families. Just think about it.
I believe there is a whole world living with us that we have forgotten. And in forgetting that we are neglecting something inside of us…
Lemme show you a little something I learned recently…
Look at that lifeless, dehydrated, sad, once was a lively green plant. It looks dead right? Down for the count. This is one of my two containers that had strawberries last year. I didn’t have the idea for this post until I came to second container and in order for you to appreciate the next photo you had to see this one first…
How does seeing that make you feel?
Take a moment, I’ll wait…
Now look at this…
This is not a new plant.
This is what grows underneath.
Life tenaciously continues beneath the surface of death.
This is the other container, which was even more of dead mess than the photo above, but look at those little guys.
Just look at ’em. Never have I been so happy to see life.
Those dried up layers formed a crunchy blanket for the vines to bundle up inside of as the winter raged on. And we had a two week spell here in Kansas with nights of 20 degrees below zero. There should be no survivors. But there are.
The first few years I grew my garden I cleared all the containers because I didn’t know better. And in truth, I don’t like seeing the little carcasses of my once glorious greeneries. It makes sad to look our my kitchen window and see all the dull brown where there was once vibrant chlorophylled community. And in truth, it makes me uncomfortable to see my little garden all decrepit and broken.
What’s more interesting is last year, one or two little berries offshoots appeared in that second container. Somehow they made their way through that winter and the berries that they grew were the sweeter and more luscious than any first generation berries. I daresay they earned it.
Now take everything I’ve just said and shown you and apply it to life. Your life. I’m not gonna tell you how, because that would rob you of the sweetness.
Let’s cue up one of the greatest albums of my lifetime, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” because when the sun comes out and the weather slides into warmth, it’s what I’m feeling right now…
Thanks for sharing your time with me. Please let me know your thoughts. Do you indulge your inner gardener? Are you believer in the come back? Do you see the relationship between death and life as the dance we are all dancing and yet we continue to fight the rhythm?