Well, it’s five in the morning and I am sitting here with my sunny yellow mug full of coffee. I no longer sit in my slightly soiled chair, it is in the basement, and I… More
Sometimes things have to break completely before you can fix them. Life is funny that way. There is a cat that lives on the property, we call her Lucky. I guess she is lucky in a way. She has survived outside on her own for about twelve years, though that is just a guess on my part. I put a bowl of food out for her every night and I lived here for about six months before I ever caught a glimpse of her. Sometimes I wondered if she even existed before I saw her. She is a small, almost white cat with beige and brown markings on her paws, tail and ears. She is tiny, almost delicate like every other female in my man Shawn’s life. She is small but she has a fierce heart. She is a survivor. Every so often I sit with her while she eats and once in a while she lets me pet her and jumps on my lap for a cuddle. Lately, there has been a larger black cat that comes up to the deck to eat the food I set out for Lucky. I call him Spirit. God this black cat is fast! He fights with Lucky over the food and I don’t like that. I think he is a bit of a bully. I say he, even though I don’t know if the cat is male or female. Tonight he ran up the stairs and was across the deck and almost on top of Lucky before I moved and scared him off. I want to protect Lucky but I can’t be by her side all the time. So, I do what I can when I am present, though I am not sure if it helps. I am just the person that fills the silver metal bowl with cat food every night and most mornings before the sun comes up. I have my role to play and I do it with love most times. Other times, there is more impatience and annoyance than love.
This reminds me that we all have our role to play. Sometimes it is the lead role and other times it is a small cameo. Regardless, the extent of the part we play in the world and others lives is not important, but the role itself big or small is of the utmost importance. It matters to the world and the people we interact with. Remember that. Your part matters. The world would not be the same without you. The role we play in others lives, in my opinion, is one of the most important things in the world. People and our connections to them shape and change us all. Lately, my interactions with others have made it quite clear to me that I need to make some changes. Great more changes! I had tea and lunch with a friend last week and she pointed out the number of changes that have taken place in my life in the last few years. I was shocked by the amount even though I have lived, and in some ways thrived, through them. I left my job, closed my business, wrestled with the illness and loss of the man I loved, sold my house, moved, started a new relationship, moved again and adopted a new circle of friends and family. There are more changes but those are the most significant ones, and the ones I am willing to share with you. My new life does not even closely resemble the life I had two years ago. I sometimes feel as though I am adrift in a huge sea of change and am just waiting to spot land where I can once again feel the solidity of the earth under my feet.
Okay, back to people and fixing things. I am no longer comfortable with the roles I have previously played. The life I had disintegrated and while that was extremely difficult it has also given me the opportunity to create a new one and in essence, create a new me. I have led a very self-centered life up to this point. I am not proud of this and have been taking a good look at this aspect of my life. I have also realized that I do like to have time for myself even though I enjoy having lots of people around and finding the balance between the two has been challenging. In the last month, the universe has kindly provided me with many opportunities that have shone a bright light on my character and pointed out the parts I want to change. I don’t think I have been a great friend, daughter, sister or partner. So, I am looking at each of these relationships and the role I play. If there is a problem with any of these relationships, I need to look at myself first. The only thing all of these relationships has in common is me. So sometimes your life needs to fall apart before you can fix it or turn it into something you are proud of. You need to strip away all the extraneous bullshit of your personality (ego) before you can change it. Love yourself and love others as unconditionally as you are able to do. All the things about yourself that you don’t like are magnified in others. Some say others provide us with a mirror, I think it is more of a funhouse mirror at the fair that distorts and twists things so they don’t really show what is in front of them as they really are. The ego is a tricky little thing! The universe is tricky too and will present you with the same thing over and over in different ways until you are able to see it clearly.
I have come up with many reasons in the last six months that I am unable to write. I don’t have time, I don’t have a space of my own that inspires me to write, I have nothing to say, I cannot write about the people in my life because they are entitled to their privacy, and the list of excuses goes on and on. The reality of it all is that I am afraid. Afraid I will be judged, afraid that I will fail, afraid that I will succeed and afraid that people will see what lies beneath this facade that I try so hard to protect. I am taking a big leap next week. I am attending a writers conference in Orlando with my older sister Margaret. One part of me is looking forward to the conference and another part of me is afraid. I have mentioned before that I have anxiety attacks. One of the tricks I have learned in dealing with these anxiety attacks over the years is I ask myself what is the worst thing that can happen. I spend a few minutes visualizing these worst-case scenarios then visualize ways to deal with them. Things are never as bad as I imagine they could be, they are usually more wonderful than I ever thought possible.
So, next week will be my 55th birthday and I am off on an adventure with my sister and have no idea how things will turn out. I am looking forward to spending some time alone with Margaret and sharing this experience with her. One thing is for sure, there will be lots of laughter and a few glasses of wine in store for us.
Look into the fun-house mirror without fear
I can’t sleep tonight and the need to write is strong. I have a feeling that this might be my last blog post on a Life in a Slightly Soiled Chair. There is a new blog taking shape in my heart and in my mind, but I am unable to describe it for you at the moment. This new chapter in my life and my writing is still taking shape and in all honesty, I don’t think I will know what it is until I start to write it. It has been exactly two years since Howard passed away and my world crumbled and I think this last post needs to be a letter to him but I have decided to share it with you. For some reason I think that if I put this out there, it will travel to all the corners of the universe and Howard will read it somewhere, somehow.
Hi Howard, it has been two years since you left this earth and sometimes it feels like yesterday and at other times it seems like centuries. I still miss you and think I always will. You know that I don’t remember dates for anything, all that well, but I think that my heart and body remember on a cellular level the moment that you left. I am not the same person, your life changed me and your death changed me again. I would not alter one moment of our life together, but I would trade everything to change the end of it for you. Oh yeah, I would like a redo on the day our house was raided and we were arrested, yup, I would change that. That was a crazy day and I am still convinced that they had the wrong house regardless of what the paperwork said. All they had to do was look at the dead plants on the deck to realize that I couldn’t grow a potted plant let alone a pot plant. We had the last laugh on that one, didn’t we!
I did plant a garden from seeds this year, but you already know that. This garden turned out much better than the year I decided to plant one in our backyard. Even the raven sitting on the pagoda laughed at my attempt to garden. I remember that you came out of the shop and asked, “Did that raven just laugh at you?” I managed to keep most of this one alive, with some help, and have had some wonderful meals with the vegetables from it. You remember how much I love bok choy? Well, apparently the deer love it more because I did not get to eat any of it. I did have an abundance of radishes. Deer do not eat radishes. Who knew? I tried to feed some to the cow Oatsie, but she didn’t want them either. Note to self, do not plant that many radishes ever again.
Yesterday I was in a friends store and saw some spirit bells. I was fascinated with these bells and took one home with me. I just could not keep this bell out of my hands and jiggled it around the whole time I was in the store. After I got home I remembered that in the last few weeks of your life you said you would ring bells. I gave you a bell beside your bed when you couldn’t get up by yourself so if you needed me I would hear it. Did you know that I slept with that bell beside my bed for months after you passed away waiting for you to ring it? I had a dream last night that I woke up and it was the exact moment that you passed away. All those emotions rose up in me like a huge wave threatening to drown me and you in spirit form kissed my head and told me it was okay. You also said a few other things and I went back to sleep feeling peaceful and loved.
I miss talking to you and sometimes have conversations with you in my head. I would talk to you out loud, but people already think I’m a little odd. Once in a while, I feel your presence and an image of you pops into my head. You always have a huge smile on your face and that light in your eyes that you always had when you were up to something. I loved that face. I keep thinking about your hands for some reason. They were large sturdy hands that were always covered in cuts and scrapes. Your hands were always busy sculpting, fixing, welding, weeding, cooking or petting a dog. Those large calloused hands were also gentle and I don’t think I ever felt safe in my life until you held my face in your hands and kissed me. I don’t think I ever felt safe or loved in my life until I met you.
There are so many things I want to tell you. I also believe that you already know everything that is in my heart. There is a space in my heart that will never be filled. One thing you did teach me is that our hearts are big and I can keep that space for you and still have enough room for other people. I took a risk last year and have someone new in my life. He too is teaching me much about love and life. He challenges me sometimes, makes me laugh constantly and encourages me to try new things and grow. We have a great group of friends and get together regularly at the pub or in our kitchen, which is filled with food, love and laughter. We both believe that you set the stage for us to get together when you sold him my raven sculpture. I remember how excited you were with the trade the two of you made. He also has a big heart and since the two of you were friends there is a place in his heart for you as well. We have the first sculpture you made called Victorious ( I affectionately call her Booba) and the last one you finished, the rhino, in our yard. The raven you sold him sits on top of the gatepost at the end of the driveway and when I moved in we put the second raven that you made for me on the other gatepost. I always think of them and you watching over us and protecting us. We also have the gorilla sculpture peering out of the bamboo. That was my favorite of all your sculptures even though I teased you about becoming a gorilla while you were creating it.
I want you to know that I am happy in my new life. Shawn and I are having many adventures together and in some way take a part of you with us on each of them. We took your toolbox with us when we went to Bonneville this year and God knows we could have used your mechanical skills while we were there. The racing did not go as well as expected. It was still an amazing trip though because of the people we met and old friends we got to see again. That is the most important thing anyway, the people in our lives. I am so glad that I got to be part of your life and hope I brought some joy and laughter to yours. I do know that some of my crazy antics brought some comic relief and I can still see you looking at me and shaking your head with that what am I going to do with her expression on your face. We had a few hard times and we had many more great times. Howard, you were an amazing man and the thing that amazed me the most was that you loved me. You loved me so much that I can still feel it.
Love the people in your life
Hug each other and laugh over the stupid stuff
I will start this post by saying that I am no expert when it comes to grief. I have danced with grief a number of times from a young age to today, at 54 years of age. I say dance with it because grief has a rhythm to it that moves you. I have experienced the death of two grandparents, a number of friends, my baby girl, both my parents, my older brother and finally the man I loved and lived with for twelve years. Each experience was different and each person’s death brought about a change within me. Howard’s passing happened Sept 15th, 2015 and I have to say that his presence in my life and his exit from it has changed me in ways no other experience has. Howard’s life and death had a profound effect on me and in some ways I am still discovering what those are. I will tell you that the grief never ends but it changes over time and becomes more of a slow heart warming waltz instead of a heart racing paso doble that spins you around and shakes your world. Grief changes you and grief changes.
I am one of those people who cries when I am happy and laughs when I am sad. This is not to say that I do not cry when I am sad. Howard’s death brought me to my knees, but I did not cry, I wailed a deep soul shattering sob that robbed me of breath and thought. I would cry myself to sleep at night and when I woke up in the morning for just a moment I would forget that he was gone and then the sobbing would begin as reality came into focus again. I cried at the grocery store, I sobbed in my car and had to leave a few places, (the bank for one) when my emotions overtook me. I wouldn’t change a minute of the grief. It was heartbreaking but it was also heart opening. I do not see the world in the same way, my vision is clearer because I see with my heart, not my eyes. So a year and a half later something will catch me by surprise and the loss of him will overwhelm me. I was visiting the hair salon that I frequent a few weeks ago and a song came on the radio there that had special meaning to me and Howard and the tears started flowing. This is a song by Shawn Mendes called “Never Be Alone” and here are some of the lyrics:
I promise that one day I’ll be around
I’ll keep you safe
I’ll keep you sound
Right now it’s pretty crazy
And I don’t know how to stop
Or slow it down
I know there are some things we need to talk about
And I can’t stay
Just let me hold you for a little longer now
Take a piece of my heart
And make it all your own
So when we are apart
You’ll never be alone
You’ll never be alone
You’ll never be alone
When you miss me close your eyes
I may be far but never gone
When you fall asleep tonight
Just remember that we lay under the same stars
I know there are some things we need to talk about
And I can’t stay
Just let me hold you for a little longer now
Howard passed this song on to me through a friend who is a medium. This happened while he was still alive but could not talk much. He did manage to say a lot to my friend in spirit while he was still alive even though they did not really know each other well. He chose his words sparingly at this point and did not waste his energy. Well, I played the song as Howard lay in his bed in our living room, while a few friends were visiting, Howard had his eyes closed with a big smile on his face and his toes were dancing to the music while the rest of us had tears streaming down our faces. After Howard was gone every time I started my car (for a few weeks) this song would be on the radio, it was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. It made me cry and reminded me that I am never alone.
So, here I am early in the morning finishing a post that I started over 4 months ago. I want you to know that I still miss him and think about him every day. I also want you to know that some days I still struggle to find my place in this new life I have created. Sometimes I still struggle. Howard’s artwork graces the yard and walls of the new home I share with Shawn the new amazing man in my life. He has brought much joy and laughter to my life. He loves me, he challenges me and encourages me to dream and grow. But, grief is a funny thing and I don’t think it ever goes away or is something you can overcome. I believe that it is always there, always a part of you. Grief changes you and grief changes you again, but your dance with it also changes the grief.
Now, it is not so much about the loss of Howard in my life, but the end of the life that Howard had cut short when he was just beginning to blossom as an artist and had found something he was so passionate about.
I believe that I have a difficult time finishing this post simply because there is no end to this story. Nor can I sum it all up and leave you with a something to think about. This is just a snapshot of day 682 of grief.
I have been having a lot of conversations about the past and the events and people that shape us. These life events and the people in our past can have a huge and lingering effect on our lives and how we react and respond to the world. I don’t think we should shut the door on the past, but I don’t think we should spend so much time there that we miss the wonder of what is right in front of us now. Yes, these things have shaped us and left scars on our souls in some cases. I am telling you it is nothing you cannot overcome if you choose to. You have already survived it, haven’t you? We are responsible for ourselves and our actions.
Grief, childhood trauma, hell just trauma in general, disappointments and betrayal, all these things can make you feel isolated and so alone in this huge world. No one seems to understand. Or do they? I don’t think there is anyone I know that has not been through some major traumatic event in their life. We isolate ourselves with our pain and our anger. Trapped within a vortex of emotion swirling around us like a tornado it can be difficult to not feel helpless. True we are helpless in the sense that we have no control how others will act or respond but do we want to live the rest of our lives based on how others have acted.
When you decide that what you have been doing is not working and take a good long look at yourself, you will realize how much power you actually have. For example, someone in your life has wronged you in a large way. You now have some choices. There is nothing wrong with getting angry but if you continue to live from that space it will bite your little butt! So you are angry, now forgive. Just forgive. Forgive them and forgive yourself. Sounds simple and it is even though we make it so complicated. I think people have attached all kinds of things to the word forgive. One of the on line dictionaries describes the meaning of the word forgive as “excuse, condone, pardon, forgive meaning to exact neither punishment nor redress. excuse may refer to specific acts especially in social or conventional situations or the person responsible for these.” Another describes it as “to stop blaming or being angry with someone for something that person has done, or not punish them for something they have done.” For myself, forgiving someone is something like this; I acknowledge their action and the pain it has caused me then I simply let it go. I do not seek revenge. I do not hold it over their head. Now I don’t want you to think that this is instantaneous. Sometimes it is, but for larger transgressions it can take a little bit of time. It takes me a while to process or work through some things. Some things are so large that in the process of forgiving the other person I end whatever relationship I had with them. Sometimes in order to let go you have to let go of the person as well.
I was abused by a neighbour as a child. This was a traumatic experience for sure and while I will not go into all of the details of the whole thing I will share a small part of it with you. I was abused then the abuser moved away. What sweet relief that was for me. Our family also moved to a different part of town about a year later. I was walking to school in our new neighbourhood and low and behold there was the man who abused me walking towards me. I was afraid, I was angry and I looked him in the eyes as he walked towards me. I am also stubborn so I was not going to run away or switch to the other side of the street. When I looked at him and he recognized me the look of fear on his face broke something open inside me. I was no longer the victim of his sick mind, I realized that he was the one imprisoned by it. I was free and I forgave him. I never spoke to him that day and I rarely ran into him again. I just knew, even as a child, that it was imperative that I let the anger and the hatred go or my whole life was going to be poisoned by it.
You will find your own strength in the letting go and forgiving. I have to admit that sometimes I have to do this numerous times for the same thing or person. Some things that I think I have worked through pop up again. So I let it go, then I let it go again. The forgiveness can only come when you have let go. The power or hold of the situation in your life only loses its grip when you let it go. There is freedom in that.
Peace and love to all
I love old things, and older people for that matter. I thoroughly enjoy listening to the stories that my elders tell of times gone by and their experiences. I love their wrinkled faces that give physical evidence of the life they have lived. My favourite is eyes all crinkled from laughter, smiles and sunshine. I also enjoy the stories that antique items tell in their own rusty and timeworn way. I have a slight addiction to antique fire extinguishers for some reason and also to old cars. The picture above is me and my little shadow Georgia (if great danes can be called little) at 7 in the morning after we unloaded my 31 Model A from the trailer that delivered it late at night. I think I threw a hoody on over my pyjamas and ran outside to look at it and placed my hands on it. I put my hands on a lot of things to feel the energy of them and in some ways I think that the items become a part of me, as if I can absorb their history through my hands. If that truck could talk!
The Model A arrived not too long after we returned from our trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats for the land speed races. I had never been to the salt flats before and had no idea what to expect. The salt flats are a short drive from the lights, sounds, and throngs of people at the casinos in Nevada to a white covered world that reminded me of the moon. There are no animals, plants or insects on the salt, at least none that you can see. It is barren and beautiful and if you ever get the chance to visit during the summer I highly recommend it. In the winter the salt is covered in water and looks like a large lake. In the summer it transforms into a white wonderland that draws racers from all over the world hoping to break land speed records. This area is so flat that you can sometimes see the curvature of the earth as you look across the salt to the distant mountains.
There is something about this place that seems to become part of your blood and the people who frequent the salt call it salt fever. I am not normally an overly emotional person, but the day we said our goodbyes to the people we met and the place itself I cried like a baby. I did not want to leave. For anyone who has been there they know that my words only scratch the surface of what goes on here. There is a bonding that happens with the salt and the people. Everyone is friendly and helpful and there does not seem to be much of that us and them attitude that is part of most car gatherings and races. People are just as excited to see the rusty old cars that don’t look like they could run let alone be driven hundreds, if not thousands, of miles as they are to see the race cars that people have put hundreds of thousands of dollars into for the chance to race. There were speed records broken, dreams dashed, friends made and old friends reunited in a place that calls you back time and time again.
My guy has been going there for years as a race spectator. Some years he drives from Vancouver Island to Wendover, Utah only to discover that the races have been cancelled because the conditions on the salt are not suitable. One year it was still covered in water and on another year it was just a big mud pit. I am so thankful that the conditions were perfect for my introduction to the Salt Flats. In 2017 we will be there again but this time my guy Shawn will be behind the wheel of his own 1955 Studebaker racing across the salt in search of the speed record in his class. I will have my ear on the radio so I can hear his speed called out for the mile markers over the noise of the engines at the start line. I can’t be in the race car with him as he flies across the salt but my heart will be. I have a feeling that the salt from my happy tears will hit the ground and i will also become part of that place forever.
Love you all
It is 5 am and the coffee is brewing. My slightly soiled chair is in the garage, so I now sit on a big comfy sofa to write, but my sunny yellow mug is still a part of my life. The only noises are the occasional car driving down the highway and the gentle snoring of a great dane named Georgia who has become my shadow and follows me everywhere in my new home. It is hard to move into someone’s home and find your place. This is not to say that the man I am living with has made this difficult, he has done everything to make me feel at home. My things are mixed in with his things and there are pieces of me and my life in every room. There is a blending that happens and it takes me a little while to settle down and feel comfortable. It is not the place that makes it a home, it is the people and our shared experiences. In my case home is definitely where the heart is and my heart has never been tied to a place or the things in it, my heart is connected to the people.
I have been talking to my older sister more than usual and am enjoying this new relationship we are developing. The picture at the top of the page is of me and my sister Marg taken last June at Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia. My sister has one of the best laughs, you know the kind that makes you smile or laugh just hearing it. Well, my sister is in the process of writing a book and I get to be a small part of it which is very exciting. We are having conversations now that were not possible before to some extent because our lives were so different. This is no indication of how we feel about each other, I love my sister dearly and she has been more like a second mother to me for most of my life. We are having conversations about things we would never have discussed 5 years ago. I am excited to get to know my sister on a different level. I have a number of people in my life that I can have conversations with about life and the things that matter and then there are others where the conversation is kept light and just skims the surface of what really matters. This does not make one type of conversation good or bad, I think we need both.
I have been having a difficult time finding my way. I suppose I should give myself a break considering the huge changes that have taken place in my life in the last year and a bit. The new man in my life, his name is Shawn, was a friend of Howard’s that I had met once very briefly before Howard passed away. One of the things that drew me to Shawn was how big his heart is. He has a lot of room in that heart for a lot of people and that included Howard. Now it includes me. Howard’s sculptures have become part of the landscape here and his artwork is also hanging on the walls, sitting on the deck or a shelf. Shawn’s heart is so big that he is able to include the people that I have loved and still love into it. So, while Shawn and I are building a life together we both get to include the people and other important things from our past into it. My heart has a lot of room also. I will tell you more about all of that in a blog piece that I have called The Tale of Two Ravens. I have started working on it but the time is just not right to tell that story.
The only reason I am writing this morning is to try and incorporate my writing into my new and busy life. I have missed sitting in my chair connecting with all of you. The last year has been filled with new experiences, new people and new ways of viewing the world. I think it just takes me a while to be able to process it all and write about it. Sometimes I just don’t have the words to express myself. Someone asked me yesterday to smell a healing spray they had made and give them my opinion. It was the strangest thing, I almost could not describe the smell. It just brought up so many feeling that words almost escaped me. I couldn’t say, oh that smells like roses or some other distinct thing. It smelled fresh and ancient at the same time, it was almost as if she had captured everything the entire world has ever experienced in a bottle. Weird huh? I think she has a gift.
Well, I hope you all have a wonder filled day and don’t forget to make your heart big and greet the world from that place. Live with your heart wide open, it is worth it.
Hug everyone, Peace to all
I have not written a blog post in a long time. I do have things to say and things I want to share, but putting them on paper seems to overwhelm me and I end up getting frustrated. In those moments the delete button is my friend. I have been having some wonderful conversations with my older sister lately and the one we had yesterday resulted in me dusting off my violin and attempting to play a few of my favourite tunes. One thing that my sister and I share, other than DNA, is music. Music has played a large role in both of our lives. I don’t hear it, I feel it. Most of the time I listen to blues but also like everything from the Gregorian Monks chanting to some of the newer rap and chart topping tunes. I love music and there is always a song that speaks to whatever I am going through in my life.
When I spoke to my sister this morning, we had recently shared some poetry with each other, she asked if my creativity was a result of emotional pain. She had asked a great question and it got me thinking. When I started this blog I had just gone through the cancer diagnosis and death of the man I loved. There was a lot of anger in me and part of me thought that the universe had taken the wrong person. He had so much that he wanted to do and his art career was just beginning to take off. His life seemed so much more than mine that I thought they should have taken me and I even offered to change places with him. Since that time my life has changed so much that sometimes I don’t even recognize myself. I mean I am still me of course, but there are events in life that have changed me in such a significant way that I don’t remember what life was like before, or what I was like before. Because the universe has such a great sense of humour it constantly puts people in my life that mirror the old me.
I know I am rambling a bit and am not even sure what the point of this blog is today other than to get me writing again. Does it really matter what the point is? It all matters and at the same time nothing matters. I guess taking a trip down memory lane with my sister has reminded me of a few things. Once you understand certain truths and gain knowledge you have a responsibility. Knowledge brings power and you get to decide how you are going to use it. Ultimately you are only responsible for your own actions and reactions to others. Sometimes I have noticed that the words that come out of my mouth and what others hear are two different things. The words are filtered through their experiences and fears, and they hear what I say in a way that reaffirms those fears for them. Strange isn’t it? So what do you do in those instances? I try to reword things in a way that allows them to see beyond their fears, but in all honesty I get tired of it quickly. Saying the same thing in twenty different ways looses its appeal quickly. Because I understand a few things that other people may not, I have a responsibility to treat them with kindness and compassion and all I can do is share my experience with them. How they interpret it is not my responsibility.
I have learned a lot in the last year. I have constantly been challenged to operate out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I have participated willingly and other times needed to be dragged out of that comfy place. I am forever in debt to the people who were patient enough to help coax me out of that place of comfort with kindness and compassion. If I am constantly in that comfort zone and experiencing life from that perspective I am missing out on some wonderful opportunities and experiences. I never would have met the wonderful man who brings so much joy, laughter and love to my life. There are so many people and experiences I would have missed and let me say that each person and experience has helped shape the person I am becoming. I guess what it all boils down to is that life is short, shorter for some than others, so take a walk outside your comfort zone and see what the world has to offer. The only thing that creates that zone is fear. Find out what those fears are and face them head on. My way of doing this is asking myself what is the worst thing that could happen. Nine times out of ten it is worth the risk. So are you going to hide from life because ten percent of the time things don’t work out so well? Be honest with yourself and others, treat yourself and others with kindness and compassion. Notice that I put you first!
Love and peace to all of you
aka Miss Daisy
Apparently it can take more than one year to figure out who you are after your life is torn apart! I didn’t realize how much of my identity was derived from my business and my relationship. Once those things were gone, there I was standing naked, feeling exposed and alone, wondering what the hell I was going to do. I have moved on with my life in a number of ways and most of the time it was trial and error and the best things were happy accidents. This is the first time in my life I am not working, since the age of 15, and I also didn’t realize how much my self worth was tied into my job and being productive. It has been one hell of a year with lots of ups and downs but the ups are winning.
I have done things in the last year I never thought I would do. I tried online dating without much success. How the heck do you write a profile? The best and most honest one I could come up with went something like this: I don’t dye my hair, I don’t wear make up, I own 6 pairs of black boots and I have all my own teeth. There were few who were intrigued by this! I finally gave up on the dating thing and asked someone I knew a bit if they were interested in being my friend with benefits, even though I wasn’t really sure what that meant. Well, this friend with benefits thing turned into much more than I was expecting. He helped me find the joy in life again and continuously makes me laugh. He is a very private person so he may not like me writing about this. Oops, too late. I guess I just want you all to know that when you least expect it, someone or something is going to come along and help you find the joy in life again. I also started this blog in the last year after a spiritual awakening of sorts and gained so much from not only the writing of it but hearing what other people had to say about it. Some comments were surprising and made me see that I was constantly downplaying who I was and what I contributed to the world just by being myself.
Each of us has something to contribute. You don’t have to move mountains or earn six figures to have value to this world. Sometimes a kind word or a smile can change the course of someones day or life for that matter. I recently ran into my former husband who I have not been married to since 1998. I was a little uncomfortable at first but we had a few chats and it was like having coffee with an old friend. I also had lunch with his parents a few days ago while they were in town and it was a joy to see them again. I forgot how much I adored them and realized that when we got divorced I essentially divorced a lot of people in my life. The pain of that period of my life is long dealt with and gone, there is nothing left but love for all of them. One thing my former husband said in a text message really made me stop and think. He said, “Maybe you just bring out the best in everyone.” Perhaps I do, though my first thought upon reading those words was I am not that special.
If you have the ability to approach people and love them unconditionally that is special. If you can let them be them without judgement that is a wonderful gift, not only to them but yourself. Don’t try to change people, love them for who they are and just by doing that you give them the space they need to grow and change because they want to, not because you think they should. Don’t restrict other people or your love for them because of your own definition of right or wrong, good or bad. Open your heart and the world opens its heart right back. Besides, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? I love being wrong.
So, I would some up the last year as a year of grace. There is a gracefulness to awkwardly finding your way. There is grace in the tears of grief as well as tears of joy. I am one of those people who cry when I am happy! There is grace in this world, it is all around you and you can see it if you look for it. You know what they say, you get what you expect. So expect grace, expect kindness, expect love, just expect great and wonderful things to happen all around you.
Be kind to yourself.
Hug everyone like you mean it!
aka Miss Daisy