Words

 

It’s all been said before.
You’ve heard the words.

“Relax.
Go with the flow.
Just focus on today.
Take one moment at a time.”

Right? Right!

Words!
Just words!
No one can tell you how to handle this.
No one can feel what I feel.

Everything will be ok.
 Just breathe!
Focus on this moment.
Don’t worry about tomorrow.

But everything doesn’t feel ok.

It’s hard to breathe.

I can’t focus.

I am worried.

Ok.
I will listen.
I will be by your side.
Cry, if you need to.
I’ll hold your hand.
Scream if it helps.
I’ll understand.

Sometimes,
Silence
Is the best advice.

Sometimes,
Being present
Is the best friend.

The words will always be there.
They linger in the air
For just the right moment.
When I’m ready
They’ll be heard.

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.

IMG_8479

IMG_8483

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”.

Maybe I Should Take Up Knitting

Journal Entry - July 22, 2015
Part Six of how Morning Pages(my journal) 
helped me process through a change

When I was a teenager, my mom told me that I needed to take up a hobby; something like knitting, embroidery, or crocheting.  She said that if I didn’t, I’d be bored.  Well, I’ve made it for 64 years without any of that yarn but I may be nearing a point. I like having a project to work on and just like with a knitted sweater, I like having a way to give it to someone.

Since Sunday, and our return from the river camping trip, I’ve been working on a video using the photos and some live video inserts.  It should have been an easy task but it was made complicated by pesky copyright violations and 10 second limits on personal video inserts but I learned a lot and last night I was able to load it to Facebook.  As usual, I wish I had taken a moment longer and loaded it to Youtube, it would have looked better.  But, I got excited and anxious to share.  Oh well, it’s done and now I sit in wonder of what my next project will be.  Maybe I should have taken up knitting. 🙂

I sure did like the diversion from sad thoughts of my daughter and grandson leaving. I spent yesterday, then, with my grandson.  He played in the dirt in his pajamas because…why not?  Then, he ran around the house in just a diaper having the time of his life. He just didn’t want to get dressed. The beauty of it was, there was no need for him to get dressed.  Finally, when he realized that we couldn’t go to the construction site without clothes on, he willingly went upstairs.  Then, fully clothed, we took off early to meet up with his mama for lunch.  It took us an hour to go 15 minutes because we had to stop and watch an excavator dig up a sidewalk.  Then, we had to remove all of the rocks from the sand under our favorite swing, and then… swing, of course.  Finally, we had to check the progress on the buildings that are going up in the neighborhood. It was a perfect walk, a beautiful day, a great (peaceful) lunch.

I want my daughter and I to go back to that place, that time.  Instead, our conversation is focused solely on the baby.  What did he do today?  Any new words? Was he a good boy?  I ask nothing about the job interview.  She shares nothing about the status.  I can’t help her with her feelings. She can’t help me with mine. We’re just carrying the burden alone…and it makes me want to vomit. Part of me is saying, “Just go already. Just go!”  The other part of me is holding on to my grandson so tightly.

Why can’t my son-in-law find the perfect job right here? Why do millions of other people find jobs to be close to their families.  Instead, they are moving to be close to a brother he hasn’t seen in three years.

Their new baby…will I know that baby?  Will that baby know me?

I think I need to learn how to crochet.  Maybe those hobbies were  meant to help you cope with grief and pain and loss.  Maybe my mom was right. WHAT?!?

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.

IMG_1916

IMG_1899

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.

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.

IMG_4425

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.

Morning Pages Become “Mourning” Pages

They came into the house together, my daughter and son-in-law.  Why?  It didn’t take long to find out.  They had news they needed to share…together!

They were offered a job.  They’ve accepted.  They’ll be moving away in October.

My initial thought was “I want to throw up!”

Instead, I picked up my grandson and gave him a hug.

I’m going to miss taking care of you three days a week.  I’m going to miss watching you grow.  And then, I walked away for a moment.

I wanted to just walk out the door; go home, crawl in bed, pull the blankets up over me…but first, drink a bottle of wine!

Collect yourself, Jane.  You need to let them tell the story.

And so, I walked back into the room.  Then, I found a way to say the right words:  “Life is short.  You have to do the things that make you happy while you can. This is a door (an opportunity) that has presented itself.  You’ll spend your life always wondering “what if” if you don’t walk through that door.  This will provide you with life lessons.  It’s meant to be.”

God, please help me to truly believe all of that.

I cried but hugged them both

Then, I found a way to drive home.  There, I sat with a glass of wine and a stomach ache.  I kept repeating the words I had found to say to them.

  • Life is short.
  • Everyone should do things that make them happy.
  • This is a door.
  • They would regret not walking through it.
  • This will provide life lessons.
  • It’s meant to be!

I prayed to God to just let me fall asleep

I slept.   And then the next morning, my clock radio woke me up to this particular part of this song by Rascal Flatts:

What hurts the most was being so close
And havin' so much to say
And watchin' you walk away
And never knowin' what could've been
And not seein' that lovin' you
Is what I was trying to do

The words say it. I’ve tried to tell my daughter before but it always came across as unsupportive. I want to support.  I thought I had been supporting.  They are walking away from nearly two years of open arms childcare.  They’re walking away from a willingness to continue indefinitely. I was ready to  welcome child number two.  I thought I was loving them the deepest, most profound way I possibly could.  And they are walking away from it all to live hundreds of miles away.

I wrote the words of the song down

in my morning pages and just sat there, looking at them.  And I cried again as I wrote the whole event out in longhand, dumping it onto paper, with all the anger and grief that filled me, hoping that I could find some relief from the pain.

After three pages, I wasn’t crying anymore.

I had moved on to the reality that my daughter is pregnant, has a two year old little boy and she is now moving away from her family, friends, a job she loves, and doctors she trusts.  Her burdens, right now, are heavier than mine.  She doesn’t need to carry me as well.  Stop crying in front of her.  Let her talk about her fears.  Be her mother!  I was able to support her through my divorce from her dad, his death, multiple boyfriend breakups, buying her first home, getting married, having her first baby.  I can support her through this.

She is trying to be a support for her husband.  She loves him and her family.  That doesn’t mean that she no longer loves me.  It also doesn’t me that she is walking away without appreciation for the things I’ve done over the past two years.  It’s time to let go.

And so I closed the journal

with a new resolve.  I closed my eyes for a minute.  They were burning from all the crying and too little sleep.  When I opened my eyes, I said to myself, “Alright, it’s time to open your arms up to your daughter this morning…

With a vow to help her walk through that door.