Attachment

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Dr. Seuss

Some truths we know but struggle against. The good Doctor was right. We need to smile because that wonderful thing happened at all, but instead, most of us, end up crying because it’s over. We do our best to keep it alive even as we watch it fade. We are so attached to that wonderful feeling that we just can’t bear to let it go, not even if something even better is on the horizon.

I am working now on appreciating, valuing, and loving, while not being attached to any particular outcome. In order to do this, I am using mindful meditation several times a day, as needed. I am starting to find some peace.

Time

The trouble is, you think you have time.

Jack Kornfield

We get so caught up in believing that once we have completed a few things on our checklist things will miraculously improve. We will have the time for our friends, our kids, our partners. We live for that day.

A wise man once said to me, ‘if it’s important, you’ll make time for it.’ At the time, I got very angry. He just didn’t understand how busy I was. He didn’t understand my life. How could he think that I could find time?

The thought kept coming back to me. I kept hearing the message over and over. Oh my goodness. He was right. I was spending my day spinning my wheels doing the things I didn’t want to do to ‘get them out of the way’ only to find out that they never did get out of the way and I never did do what I actually wanted to do. Once I accepted that, I started to shift my life. I accepted that I would go to work Monday thru Friday into the foreseeable future. I would never get it done. So instead of trying to push that one project out the door, I would leave work on time and enjoy that extra time with my kids. I would make time for the volunteering by cutting out some TV, or social media, or…

I do not have time. I only have now.

#metoo #hope

I am not a young woman. I am approaching mid-life; within 2 years if I live as long as my grandmother did. I have been watching today’s women take a stand against the misogynistic treatment they receive, against the biases and prejudices.

First, let me say that I am proud. I am so very proud of women today for stepping forward and braving the backlash they fully expected in order to tell their truth. The only hope they had was that the next generation of women, or even the next woman, wouldn’t have to face that sort of treatment.

Second, I need to say I am sorry. I am sorry I wasn’t one of those women.

I have said, “boys will be boys.” I have dressed in a gender neutral manner in order to be successful in industries that are dominated by men in order to avoid the derogatory comments, the leers, the ‘easy’ assignments, and the general biases prevalent in the business. I hid my feelings from partners to avoid comments about PMS. I submitted to dominant behavior because I was afraid of physical violence even as I was living with mental and emotional violence. I worked to support ‘my man’ who quit his jobs because they, ‘didn’t respect him enough,’ or ‘violated his morals,’ or ‘didn’t challenge him.’ I have been woken in the night by an erect penis being shoved in my mouth and expected to perform oral sex. I have been reduced to tears in the back corner of a closet while my husband stood over me yelling. I have seen my young daughter step in front of me to protect me when my second husband raised his hand to hit me. I had a boss stick his tongue in my mouth, without consent, after asking me to continue my employment as his mistress rather than his office manager. I have had a sexual partner, who agreed to ground rules for our sexual intercourse, penetrate me anally, without a condom, while chocking me. I was too afraid to do anything but comply. My current husband told me that in order to be a ‘good wife’ I should subsume my needs for his because his health is fragile, yet when my father died, and I asked for support, I was refused due to his long-standing health concerns and his need for self-preservation. When I said I felt betrayed and hurt, I was told that I was being unfair.

Please understand. I do not want your sympathy. I want you to understand that I accepted this behavior as ‘normal’ or ‘okay.’ I wondered what I had done wrong. Why I deserved this. I never once stood up for myself.

None of this is okay. How did I not see that? How did I become so indoctrinated…come to think so little of myself?

Now, nearing mid-life, my children young women in their own right, showing me the way, I vow to myself, no more. I will not allow myself to be disrespected. I will not apologize for my feelings or my thoughts or my opinions. I will report inappropriate behavior. I will support anyone, and I mean anyone, who has been, or is being mistreated. I hold myself accountable to you, my fellows in this journey.

Bad Habits

It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.

Benjamin Franklin

First let us define a bad habit as a habit you would like to break. Most ‘bad’ habits are just things we have labelled as bad and aren’t morally or ethically wrong. Just like most weeds have beneficial properties and are only weeds because they are growing where we don’t want them to grow.

So with that definition in mind, are habits easier to prevent than to break? Not according to science. Science says that it takes 30 days to build a habit and 7 days to break one. I guess that means the real question is, do you want to break it?

Motivation

There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear.

Toni Morrison

I so want to agree with Toni. The problem is that I don’t.

I think there is time for despair, it’s okay to feel despair, just don’t live there. I think that a little self-pity is something we all deserve. After all, if you don’t pity yourself from time to time, who will. Allow that feeling. Just don’t live there. There may be no need for silence, but sometimes silence is the best way to be heard. There is always room for fear. Sometimes it has the nicest room in the place. It is lonely and clamors for attention night and day. It really just wants to be held, accepted, loved; like the rest of us.

I understand that Toni is being motivational. She wants us to hear that we each have a very worthy voice, which deserves to be heard, not silenced by fear or despair. I agree that we have to move with these feelings. I just don’t see us moving despite these things. Don’t dismiss your feelings. Embrace them. They are neither good, nor bad. They just are.

Worth

One of the deep secrets of life is that all that’s really worth doing is what we do for others.

Lewis Carroll

How do decide what is worth doing? It is what will make you money, further your career, help you find love? Why is that show on TV worth doing? What do you get from Facebook or Instagram? How does that new car/house/vacation improve your life?

I have a pretty well paid 9-5. I have good benefits. I go to work and I do my best to help my company measure how much money they are making, and find new ways to increase that revenue. I get no satisfaction from this job, other than knowing my family has what we need.

I am a serial volunteer-a-holic. I love the way helping others makes me feel. Why serial then? Because the longer I spend with an organization, the more I realize that they aren’t really helping. I will continue the search. I will continue doing for others, because that’s all that’s really worth doing.

React

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

Charles R. Swindoll

So I believe that Charles was trying to say that our reactions have more meaning in our life than what happens to us. In other words, do you react with poise and grace, or do you fly into a rage?

When I read this I see how it applies to our modern attachment to electronics. We are all looking for our next reaction so that we can post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… Rather than create something of our own, we lurk, waiting for something to happen so that we can tell others what we think, how we feel, or what we think they should do about it. Slow news days are so boring!

Believe

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.

Buddha

When I was younger, I would often tell the truth I thought that others wanted to hear. I would be gregarious, shy, kinky, logical, down to earth, practical. I was practically made to order. As I played each role, it was my truth.

With time, being a chameleon ate away at my spirit. I began to drift, uncertain of who I was, and what was true. The boundaries blurred and began to merge and they formed a picture I did not like.

Now, in this present, I honor my truth. I am aware that it may not be your truth, for we each have our own truths. This isn’t science after all, it’s the truth. My truth is that I am a thinker with a big heart, and deep emotions that, if you are lucky, I will share. Your truth is that I am far too cerebral and emotionally immature. Both are true. Truth is all about the story you choose to believe.

Kisses

The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

There are moments in life that will stick with you forever. Moments that you remember as though you had just experienced them even though they happened years ago. I have a few of those memories. Some are cannons and some are kisses. I much prefer the kisses. Those are the times I revisit often.

Connections

The lamps are different, but the light is the same.

Rumi

I find Rumi to be both enlightening and uplifting.

We, each of us, have a light inside of us. Maybe this light is the fire of life, our eternal soul, or some other label we have created, but no matter how we label it, we recognize it in ourselves and in others. As we rush through life, we rarely take the time to recognize the light in those we interact with, nor do they recognize ours. We each look different, but the light from within proves that we are all fundamentally the same.

Today, as you go through your day, take a few moments with each person you meet to see their light. You do not need to tell them you have done it, or acknowledge it out loud. Just slow down enough to see our connection.

Life

I have no fear of making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own.

Jackson Pollock

When canvas was more difficult to find, and more expensive, artists used to reuse them. A work that did not please, was simply painted over with a new creation. In the creation of great works of art, the vision at the beginning rarely matches the end result.

My life is yet another great work of art. In the act of creation, sometimes I look at my life and decide that this part needs a brighter shade of red, that one a richer blue. I have never had the driving vision of my final goal, so I am free to recreate as I see fit in the moment. I am free to make changes, and destroy the image, because I am there to create anew.

Fun

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Bertrand Russell

Some days it feels that I have completely forgotten what is is to enjoy my time on this plane. I try my best not to get caught up with the constant social pressure to accomplish something with every minute of every day. Even something as simple as writing a poem, or reading for fun, or stopping to really see a flower is considered a waste of time…even if you enjoy that moment tremendously.

The thing is, I don’t want to be a published poet. I don’t want to always be on the move. I don’t want to be successful on anyone else’s terms. I want to slow down. I want to mono-task. I want to appreciate what I have, not strive for more. I want to end the day knowing what I have done and smiling over the moments of enjoyment.