Fast Forward

Morning Pages, my journal, has become an important part of my morning routine.  It has been a place for me to share my joy and my sorrow, my anger and frustrations.  No one needs to see my words, ever, unless I choose to share.

The past blogs have been about a potential change in my life and how I processed it through words on paper.  I had to stop sharing when the pain became too deep.

I didn’t stop writing daily in my journal, however.  Over the past two months, there were moments of dread…hope…devastation… fear…realization…grief… acceptance…and now today patiently waiting to get to the other side.

Sprinkled in amongst the elements of change were moments of normalcy, even joy.

Life.

It’s all there.  Documented for me to review.  What I see is that, after scratching out all the anger (you can see it in my handwriting as well as in my words), I found my way to understanding.

My daughter is moving far away.  She is taking, with her, my job, my joy, my grandson. Change is hard on everyone.

She sat, calmly, while I cried.  She stood, strong, with her man. Time passed, and we didn’t talk about it.  Instead, we focused on the daily activities of the baby; superficial conversation to keep the tears from my eyes.   At one point, in my journal, I wrote what I knew I needed to write:  “Let go.  Let God.”  I put this in God’s hands.

It was at this point that I started listening, hearing words that weren’t spoken, out loud, but still so clearly evident.  My daughter. I started hearing my daughter. The words were there, behind her eyes.  A mom knows.  This was breaking her heart too.  But, she appeared, on the outside, to be happy about the opportunity for “an adventure” as she called it.

When I found my strength, she could let go of her’s.

She cried. “I’m afraid.”

“Me too!” is all I could say back.

But, at least we were talking together again. And then I could hug her and tell her how much I love her and that everything was going to be ok. And, I could once again be the support that she counts on with words of encouragement.  “This is an opportunity, a door that has been opened for you.  You would always wonder what was on the other side if you didn’t pass through this door.”

My journal documents the daily, gripping pain that I no longer shared out loud with her until it became monotonous even for me. My god, get over it already.  No one is dying!

And then, in the middle of the despair, my other daughter marries.  The clouds parted.  Joy and sunshine filled a few days. I practiced a toast over and over again until it became part of me.  Words of deep love for my daughter; my daughters. Words that tell our story:

“When their dad died, in 1994, we became a very tight unit.  We watch out for each other.  We help each other.  We have laughed and cried together, listened and loved each other through everything.”

And then, I offered up a toast that was more actual suggestions for a happy, successful marriage:  Watch out for each other.  Help each other. Laugh and cry together.  Listen and love each other through everything.

I looked at both my daughters, on this day, and saw beautiful women standing strong by their men.  And, I was a proud mom standing strong with my daughter; my daughters.

We have a bond. No move will break that bond.  But even today, as we count down the last two weeks before they move, I write again, “Let go.  Let God.  I feel I have.  At least, I’ve tried.  Letting go, doesn’t take away the grief.  It just removes the battle.”

Each day, my outward strength has allowed my daughter to grieve.  She is leaving a great job, wonderful friends, and lifetime of connections that has made her so successful.  She is allowing the light to shine on her husband now.  Her courage is amazing.  Still, she cries.  Seeing your daughter stand strong with tears in her eyes, is humbling. We have come full circle.  I smile.  I raised a daughter to be strong.  She is now giving strength back to me.

This Place

Journal Entry - July 30, 2015
Post # 10 of how Morning Pages(my journal) 
helped me process through a change.

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Went for a walk in the woods yesterday and took a couple pictures of a hawk.  It waited for me to take each photo so of course I had to look up it’s message

  •  “You’re caught up in too many details, so step back so you can get a greater perspective on the situation.
  • Stay alert and focused on the task before you, eliminating as many distractions as possible.
  • Spend some time observing and studying the situation and when it’s time for action make it quick and decisive.
  • Be aware of any personal psychic attacks and be prepared to defend yourself.
  • Stop trying to change others or the situation and work instead on accepting things as they are.”

Well, doesn’t that message just about say it all, especially the last one.  I must accept things that happen.  I must not try to change them.  It’s not my place to step in front of someone’s life journey.   I know that.  I do.  It just really hard, though, when their decision affects your life. I will try to stay calm and observant.

I love my place right now but I am working to find another.  It’s time to reduce the rent and maybe live closer to one daughter.  There’s something telling me “it’s time.”  Time to not be living alone or at least quite so alone.  I look outside, here, and my heart breaks a little just thinking about leaving and I think of all those other times I have moved.  I wrap myself up in protective layers and just start packing – one closet at a time.  Sorting, discarding, choosing.  I take down my “home” – make it uncomfortable to stay in any longer; feeling so uncomfortable to stay that I can hardly wait to escape this place that no longer feels like “home”.  Then, I quickly get to the next place so that I can make it feel good enough to spend that first night.

Ok, I’m not leaving yet, but it’s coming.  I know it.  So, for today, I breathe in the air, take photos of the flowers and the animals. enjoy the quiet meditative peace that has been my backyard and send up praise to the powers that be that I was given this gift just when I needed it most.

This place has provided me with companionship even though I lived alone.

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This place guided me through a hard divorce and the sickness and death of my brother.

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This place gave me the strength to walk into a gym and hire a trainer; a trainer who was the brightest star I could have had cheering me on as I worked to put physical strength above wasteful, harmful pastimes.

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This place gave me a place to come to when I felt the pain of leaving a lifelong career.

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This place allowed me to find another job; one the filled that initial void and made me feel necessary, still.

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And, it was this place where I celebrated the announcement of my first grand baby.

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It was this place, where I’ve been alone, but not alone.  I’ve been surrounded by some kind of wonderful energy that has continuously shown me love, guidance, peace, and power!

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This place – Thank you, God for showing me the way to this place.

I Write, I Write. Everyday, I Write

Journal Entry - July 26, 2015
Part Nine of how Morning Pages(my journal) 
helped me process through a change.

I write.  I write.  Every day, I write.  Yesterday was everything many dream of.  A quiet, peaceful day with nothing to do.  And I did nothing. Oh well, that’s not exactly true.  I cleaned my little home, then went for a walk in the woods.  Someone had told me that mosquitos don’t like the smell of vanilla.  I had to try that out.  Come to find out, it’s true! It’s a little messy, spreading vanilla extract all over yourself and I walked through the woods smelling like a cookie but it really does repel mosquitos!

Then, back here to just sit and decide what next.  I watched a lot of TV and then got sad thinking about my grandson.  If they move away, this will be my life everyday.  This quiet, peaceful existence…everyday…BORING!!!

I didn’t want to dwell on it.  I’m trying to let God handle it.  I went to bed early and slept until 5:30 am.  It felt great.  And now, laying ahead of me, is today.  It’s Sunday.  Nothing to do.  House is clean.  Plants watered. Weather beautiful.  I’ll walk the woods this morning and maybe again this afternoon.  I can’t spend money right now.  I need to save for other things.

It’s a strange time, right now, in my head.  I’m empty of light.  I read through other’s posts and I don’t care.  I try to think of something to write and I come up dry.  Empty. I wanted to be that person who could help guide others to the light.  Right now, I think “Find your own way!”  I’m in protective mode.  I’m waiting for the bomb to drop.  I’m working out how I’m going to respond on that day when I hear the words.  I’m trying to be ready in case God’s plan is to move them away.  Slow, deep breathes…Slow deep breathes.

When I walk the summer woods, it’s hot and humid and still.

IMG_8464 IMG_8467Animals move slowly. Birds sing a little less during the day.  I breathe in the oxygen of the leaves and I walk, trying to think of nothing.

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Then, in pops thoughts of a brother who died homeless, and an ex-husband who took his own life, and I feel guilt.  I should have done more, tried harder, been better.

I’m alone, right now, maybe because I deserve to be!

I need to STOP taking the blame…or the credit for every other person’s journey.  I am not that special!  Remember?  My brother and my ex-husband did as they did of their own accord.  To think that I caused it is being pompous.  Each of us has our own power to play out our life the way we want.  I, right now, have the power to get on with mine!  Find other interests, meet other people.

But, right now, I don’t want to.  Right now I am choosing to be alone.  I am choosing this!  It is not a punishment.  As I chose, yesterday, to sit and watch TV, I will choose today to maybe do the same.

We’ll see.

Who Would You Call A “Trusted” Friend?

Journal Entry - July 23, 2015
Part Seven of how Morning Pages(my journal) 
helped me process through a change.

What are the characteristics of a “trusted” friend?

  • Someone who doesn’t judge
  • Who drops everything to be there when you need them
  • Who feels comfortable sharing with you
  • Who gives advice, gently, but doesn’t criticize if you don’t follow it
  • Someone who can make you laugh through the tears

So, why am I writing this?

I’ve, once again, pulled out the Animal Spirit Guide Message Cards by Steven D. Farmer.

To use these cards, you simply have to shuffle them until you feel ready, then pull one card that seems to call out to you for some reason.  All the while, you are thinking “Which animal spirit guide could help me right now?”

My card suggested this activity along with thinking about one or more people I would consider to be a “trusted” friend.  So, I make this list and think “Who fits this description?” The answer is my oldest daughter; no one else.  My sister comes close but, oh, she has so many problems of her own.  And, then, I think “Why don’t I have more friends?”

In high school, I hung with a small group of girls, part of a pack.  Not sure…no, I’m sure, none of them were real friends based on the list above.

Then, college – roommates…friends?  Well, we got along, if that counts.  I was in one’s wedding, another was in mine.  But the waters parted when I got a divorce.

On to work friends – We shared so much and I thought some were the best friends of my life until I left teaching and became an administrator.  Oh no!  I drank the kool-aid!

Now, friends – Two people I see once a month for lunch. another who swears she’ll reschedule a time to meet after she had to abruptly cancel one…three months ago, and some people at the gym who are friends…at the gym.  There’s a neighbor who watches my cat when I’m gone.  Does that count?

Look at this list?  I don’t really have any friends!  There is no one, right now, who I can talk to about my life except my daughter.  And, she is trying to cope with this change as well along with trying to stay excited about her upcoming wedding and attempting to piece together jobs that might add up to enough money to pay the bills.

In other words, everyone has issues, pain that they are dealing with.  Life is not easy for anyone.  So, going to someone and dumping your problems out to them seems like adding burden to their already weighted shoulders.

It reminds me of a time when I asked my brother if maybe he could show me how to hang wallpaper.  It was the first time I had ever reached out to him or anyone, really, to ask for help.  His  answer – “No, I’m already helping too many people.”

It seems like, pretty much all of my life I’ve been able to count on one person.  That person is me.  I will figure this all out.  So thanks, Spirit Guide Message Card, but today, I’ll pass on your guidance…unless you can help me find a real “friend”.

I Want To Ask, But I Don’t Want To Know

Journal Entry July 21, 2015  

Part four of how Morning Pages(my journal)helped 
me process through a change.

I want to ask but I don’t want to know or rather, I’m afraid to know the answer.  Are they or are they not moving away?  I don’t know.  To  me no news is good news?!?  I feel like I’ve been through this before.  Gut aches and tears, right there waiting for those words.

Instead, the text yesterday was “Our 12 week appointment went great.  All is well.  Heartbeat 155. J still think’s it’s a girl.  I think it’s a boy.”  And I’m happy for them and I want to distance myself from falling in love again.

My day with my grandson was wonderful, as usual.  He grew over the weekend.  Now he walks to the refrigerator and says “Milk”.  We spent the day doing little things; going to the construction site, watching a excavator dig a big hole, then swinging at the swing park.

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He sat in the swing so long that I thought he was ready to sleep.  So, I encouraged him to stop (“10 more pushes and then we’re going to stop.”) so we could actually get home for his nap.  The ride home woke him up enough that we had time for some lunch and the read several books before his nap.

While he napped, I worked on a video of this past weekend.  I had uploaded a song hoping it would be allowed.  The words were perfect.

Let The River Run

by Bob Seger

I’ve seen the top, I’ve seen the view

Lately, I find, not much is new.

And there’s always a hill out there beyond

Where I could be, where I belong.

Some always take, some have to win.

They leave you with scars, again and again

As they reach for the sky, only to fall,

They never change. I’ve seen them all.

Let the rivers run, like they always do

It’s not up to me.  It’s not up to you.

When we reach the end, when our time is done

Let us all be still while the river runs.

Let the rivers run from the great divide.

I’ll stay with you .  I’ll be by your side.

When we reach the end, when the words are done,

Let us listen well, while the rivers run.

 It’s a beautiful , truthfully peaceful song and I couldn’t use it in the video.  Copyright infringement.  So it’s written here as the message that came to me as I was trying to enjoy the beauty of the weekend that was so hard.

When my daughter and her family move, I will go sit by that river.  I will listen, well, to the messages that flow off the surface of the water.

But for today, I will go back and enjoy that little boy who is growing right before my eyes, and I will “let the river run, as they always do.  It’s not up to me.  It’s not up to you.

Searching For Guidance

Journal Entry - July 16, 2015. 
Part Two of how Morning Pages(my journal)helped me process through a change.

Searching for a way…to reconcile my feelings with what will, inevitably, happen.  I walked my woods looking for a sign.

There was the robin, never leaving my path.

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“Let go of the drama and allow as much joy and laughter into your life as you can.” (S. Farmer, 2006)

Dragonflies have been plentiful, as well, and I have been ignoring this part of the message because I felt safe.

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“Be on the lookout for any falsehoods, deceit, or illusions that are clouding a current situation or relationship.”

In the pond, turtles are poking their heads up between crowded lily pads.

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“At this time, pay particular attention to the shifting sensations in your body, as these are, energetically, resonating  with subtle changes in the vibrations of the earth. Get out on the land and walk around at about half  your usual pace, using it as a meditation.”

Then, the geese.

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“This is a time of good fortune.”

Ah, it doesn’t feel like that, actually.  

“Call on your ancestors for guidance and protection and once you do you’ll notice a significant increase in your spiritual awareness.  Even though it may not always appear to be so, you are very well protected.”

Then, I came upon a deer, too suddenly, and scared it a bit.

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“You’ve been involved in some aggressive, negative circumstances and need to seek out safe, nurturing situations and people.”

And, that’s what I did last night.  My head hurts from a bit too much wine, but it felt good to listen to the prospective of another (outside eyes).  She gave good sound advice even through my tears, of which there were many yesterday.

Ok, so here it is again…my daughter and her family are working on a move to North Carolina.  Her husband is committed to finding work there and has indeed interviewed, now twice, with a company.  My daughter is pregnant with my second grand baby. It doesn’t matter. My other daughter and I have tried so hard to help with their son, giving them opportunities for nights out, even whole weekends for small vacations, not to mention providing weekly childcare so he has never had to deal with the rush of a morning schedule, or leave his home.

I think, my daughter wants to go 100%.  My other daughter thinks that she has to want this for her husband. She doesn’t have a choice.

Still, yesterday, I nearly lost it when I realized that this daughter sought out guidance, from a trusted shaman, on how to deal with ME!  I had picked up vibes that something was going on, so I asked her if her husband was interviewing for another job.  When she said “yes”, my only response was, “Where, this time.” I stayed quiet.  No tears.  Still she contacted her shaman.  As I reflected on that, further, I did, indeed, feel as though I had become a burden; the one obstacle in the way for their true life.  Here, I had been thinking that I was working hard to be a great help.  I called my other daughter, sobbing. She helped right my sinking boat for the time being. Yet, still today, I feel old and in the way.

But then this daughter calls  and says,

“Could you come early today.  I have a meeting at 8:30.”

And, of course, I will be there.

My grandson doesn’t know the ache I feel, right now, anticipating lost moments.

Finding My Flow

July 15, 2015
First in a series of journal entries that 
mark my path through a deep and hurtful change.
Writing, in a journal, each 
day helped me see my thoughts
on paper and guided me to my strength.

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Breathe deep!  Just let life happen.  I knew it would come.  It was inevitable but still my gut aches. My head pounds.  My body feels heavy.  I need to find that place inside me that gives me the strength to move through “this” because “this” will happen whether I move through it or not.  That is how life goes.  Life moves, keeps moving…forward.  I choose to go with that flow or become a puddle off to the side, where, of course, I will soon dry up and disappear.  Right at this moment, I’m leaning towards the puddle idea.  That’s how my body feels, that’s what my head wants me to do, pull out of the flow.  You, kind of, think that if you do that, you will somehow be missed and “this” flow of life might reconsider because it wants you in it.  But who are you kidding?  Flow doesn’t stop to notice a leak.  And, you are just a small leak in a massive, powerful flow.  Don’t think that you have the power to make a difference in this forward movement.  So, it might be better to just go with the flow.   But what does that mean?

The current has changed.  The direction has changed.  I will not be in the front, now, helping to lead the way.  I will be further back…important but not necessary.  Does that make sense?  Well, it does to me.  These are powerful forces that have picked up your movement and added new energy to it.  Your work to get to this spot was, indeed, important but the new force can take it from here.  You are being told: “You can stay in the flow, if you want.  Thank you very much for your service, but we can take it from here.  We’ll always remember and appreciate the work you have done.”

Stay with the flow or go?  Stay with the flow or go?  How much strength do you have?  You don’t need to be a small leak that puddles off to the side.  You could forge a new route of your own.  It’s, for sure, scary.  I mean, what if you don’t have enough strength to cut through the rugged terrain?  It’s also lonely.  I will have to have strong conviction and belief that I can do this alone because I have no guarantee of followers.

Stay with the flow or go? Am I a follower or a leader? Do I really want life to just happen or do I want some control?  It’s scary.  It’s lonely.  But, right now, I am basically just going with the flow and I don’t like the lack of control.  Some days, I’m important.  Other days, I’m in the way.

Ok, I will not block forward progress but I think, no I believe, that I am a leader.  I forge my own destiny.

Stand up straight, then.  Be strong, focused, energized.  It’s time to choose your own adventure.  It’s time to follow your own light. And don’t be surprised if you find out that you had actually been a drag on their flow.  Celebrate your skill, your own power, your own freedom.  Let them celebrate their’s.  Let life flow as it should.  Now get out there and find your own flow.