Blog, grandchildren, reflection

Reflections on a Sunday Morning

Day 315

It is extremely quiet since the grandkids were returned home yesterday. There is something special about these relationships. A trust that is unlike anything else. As much as I am tired, I miss the sense of wonder and the honest love that children bring into our lives.

Wrapping Up

We wrapped up our visit with a trip to mine for gems. Each child came out with a quart sized bag of various minerals. They loved discovering something beautiful as the water washed away the dirt. Later in the day we washed them all and laid them out to dry. Our 9 year old found all my books on mineral and gem identification and went about trying to identify all of the rocks she now had in her possession.

Friday night we watched one of my favorite Disney films: “The Three Lives of Thomasina”. We chose it because the grandchildren were so enthralled with the neighbor’s cat. It is an older classic which many people have never heard of or have never seen. I see someone posted the video on YouTube, but here is the trailer for those of you that have never seen it, or for those of you that loved it like I did.

Other Things

I normally monitor my blog comments rather closely, but since it was a busy week, I had not done so for a while. I had the normal spam comments, but there were also comments from bloggers who I have previously approved for automatic posting to my blog. I approved the comments and indicated to WordPress they were NOT spam I. Hopes it does something with the algorithm in hopes it does not happen again.

I am still working on a short story although last week my efforts were thwarted by lack of time. Perhaps I will make progress this week.

In two weeks we may go stay a few days with our daughter at a house they are renting for their family vacation. A change of scenery sounds nice.

Today my daughter and her family are flying to New Jersey for a family vacation with her wife’s family. My granddaughter is taking her first plane ride and I am hoping it all goes well and becomes a happy memory for her. She will get to meet her great-grandmother on this trip and that will be an amazing experience for the entire family. Four generations to celebrate!

We will be staying with our oldest grandson and the dogs while his parents take a trip to Ireland in September. He will be back in school starting his senior year in high school. It just does not seem possible. He started coming to stay a week with us in the summer when he was 4.

I am looking forward to my Sunday night call with friends. I hope they are going to be available!

Take Aways

My takeaways this week:

  • We all need to be heard. Maybe that is why we blog. Children need this, too.
  • Unexpected, uplifting mail is a treasure. Thank you, Lauren.
  • My grandchildren were delighted to see food growing in the garden and then eating it!
  • Fresh fruits (especially peaches) are more delectable than prepared sweets.
  • Having a purpose for our lives is vastly important.
  • The light is shifting. Summer is preparing her curtsy before her departure.
  • This blog may be the first time I have written the word curtsy.
  • Simple pleasures are the best by far. At least in my world.
aging gracefully, authentic self, Blog, loss, reflection, retirement

Loving Me – Or the Day I Quit Trying to Fix Myself

Day 144

I was a quirky kid. My thoughts were big. When I went to bed at night my thoughts were on things like infinity and time and death and how the universe could just go on forever. Didn’t everything have an end?

I remember a specific night becoming so overwhelmed with my thoughts I cried. I was at my grandmother’s house. Scared and seeking comfort, I went downstairs. When asked what was wrong, I lied and I told her my throat hurt. This ignited her worry gene. She needed to get me to a doctor. What if I had strep throat or scarlet fever?

I am not sure how that night ended except to say that I know I did not go to the doctor and I also know I learned to never tell anyone about my thoughts. They were thoughts much too big for a little mind.

Thinking Vs. Curiosity

I was a child of the science fiction age. Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, The Time Tunnel, Night Gallery, The Time Machine, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and on and on. I became obsessed with time travel.

This scene and my love of costumes (see my earlier  post) certainly fed my creative curiosity:

It was certainly a time of big imaginations. I had a Kreskin ESP game although I acknowledge I never gained any extrasensory perception.

High School and Beyond

My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer when I was in my final year of high school. It was tough. I started to search for reasons and explanations to answer all the why questions I had.

I read Sydney Omarr’s horoscope column religiously.

I always had deep thoughts. My term paper in high school was entitled The Nonexistence of Time for which I received an A- (I omitted a comma somewhere along the way). I don’t think my teacher thought I could pull off the references needed, but I managed.

I bought a crystal ball, I was intrigued with seances and bought books on astral projection — is that even a thing now?

I was in the military when my mother passed away. I went home for her funeral. I was broken. Being in the military you aren’t really given time or space to grieve. I was only 19 and all I wanted was to be home with my family.

Feeling Broken

I think the losses in my life were big. I took them hard and didn’t really know how to grieve. Once you label yourself as broken — or others label you as such — you begin to believe it. You start to search for how to fix what’s wrong.

I saw a therapist who was happy to prescribe anti-depressants. I never took them. Somehow I knew I was not depressed. I searched so many self-help books thinking if I could follow the thoughts of others I might turn that final corner that would make me whole again.

Then one day it hit me. What if I was not broken? What if I was normal? What if self-help books helped make me believe I was somehow lost?

I will say there are a number of books that really helped me and many that are a godsend to others. I am not saying self-help books are bad, for some are worth their weight in gold. All I am saying is what if I just had some hard stuff to deal with and had no way to process my way through it? What if it was easier to think of myself as missing a piece of me and if I could just find it I could be whole again?

Finding Me

So one day, I just decided to embrace myself and love me for me. I resolved problems or situations singularly instead of believing I had those problems because of some flaw. I started to remember the little girl who had big thoughts and just did not know what to do with those thoughts. She was the same little girl that watched her mother slowly die of cancer and was not given space to grieve.

I started to value myself enough to leave bad relationships. I stood up for myself. I learned I could live on my own and be perfectly happy. Once I knew that about me, the right person entered my life.

Embracing My Authentic Self

I love to think big now. I love my imagination. I still fancy the idea of time travel and to this day never underestimate the power of a 1979 penny to whisk me back to reality.

I give myself room to grieve. Losses are still hard and I have lost a lot — a downside to the blessing of living a longer life. Unfortunately, it is part of this thing we call life.

I am not afraid to be me any longer. I like me. No, no, I love me. I am not broken — just human and not in need of fixing.

Blog, childhood, reflection, Writing

Thoughts Run Deep

Day 104

I thought I would take a break and write a short blog and get it published a little earlier tonight.

I finished the MasterClass with Margaret Atwood. It has given me much to consider and has given me insight to myself as a person and a writer. I decided to start the Judy Blume MasterClass for a different perspective.

The introduction knocked me over:

Don’t give up and don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you cannot write because the person who’s saying that has no idea what’s inside you.”

This is a powerful statement every hopeful writer should read. Maybe it’s because I read a lot today about women’s struggles which are too heavy for this post. Hearing these words of uplifting hope were important to me.

Judy Blume talks a lot about her childhood which of course made me think a lot about my own and how I progressed through life. There is a lot of information and guidance to be found in simply remembering our own steps.

22256554_10155808299011057_2213149016206176189_o (1)I had an online conversation with a couple of friends a few nights ago in which we talked about sharing a photo of ourselves as children. This is the only posed portrait I have of myself. I stare into her eyes and know she had no idea what paths she would take. I know she would like her adult version, but I am also sure she never imagined she would sometime sport blue and purple hair and reflect often about her — that shy little girl.

That little girl has been loved and hurt over the years. She has been told how she should dress and act and be. But she rose up and decided to be who she wanted to be. And as the quote above says, no one has any idea what’s inside me but me.

“I just want to be little ole me…”

art, Blog, creativity, Fear, reflection, Writing

It’s My Time

Day 83

Today was a turning point. I realized I’ve been waiting for something to happen. I don’t know what, but I’m tired of waiting.

I am a nurturer by nature. I worry about everyone and will always try to do anything I can to help those I love and care about. That’s a noble calling I suppose, but what I have discovered is that putting everyone and everything else above what you dream for yourself makes it impossible to achieve those dreams.

I will always love and care for people. It’s in my DNA. Today I decided it is okay for me to focus on myself as well.

MasterClassSince we didn’t really shop or exchange much in the way of gifts for Christmas, I told hubby I wanted to sign up for a couple of classes on Master Class. Specifically about writing. So, my belated Christmas gift was a year-long subscription to all the classes. Wow! I am so excited! (Click on the logo to the left to go to their website! There is a great promotion running until midnight Pacific time tonight — 12/26/2018)

Tonight I started Margaret Atwood’s Creative Writing Class. I am thoroughly enjoying it so far. It has already made me realize a few major changes I must take in how I structure my life if I intend to write seriously.

I am relieved to get some sort of validation that my method of writing is ok if it works for me. Now, why did I need for someone to tell me that? If it works for me, it works for me.

As I go through some of the questions raised in the class, I have already had to tell my inner critic to pipe down a few times. I get to control this. Years of nagging doubt are surfacing and I am working to change the way I think about my ability to write.

Retirement is wonderful, but it can be bogged down by the same things that bog you down in pre-retirement life. Remodeling, cleaning, cooking, errands, shopping, and laundry are all still there. It takes a conscious effort to achieve the things we hope to accomplish.

In one of my earlier blogs, I said I wanted 2019 to be lighter. I think that lightness may come in part by doing things that I really want to do. In so many ways, 2018 was hard. I cannot dwell on the difficulties and the hardships. I want to forge ahead toward the goals I have set for myself. There is room to do that and also love and care for those I hold so dear to my heart.

I feel lighter already.

“To be creative, first we must be generous. Then we must have a quiet, indomitable belief in our own worth.” 
Donna Goddard

 

 

 

 

Blog, reflection, Spouse

Dinner for One

Day 77

Today has been a bit of an inward-thinking solitary kind of day. Hubby had to go home to check on some things with the house, but he will be back here tomorrow.

Tonight I am blessed with so many things to be thankful for. I feel a calmness and a peace that I believe has surrounded me from somewhere outside of my normal existence. It is a blessing.

Every moment in our lives offers an opportunity and I wonder just how many times I failed to see it. We all move so fast — so deliberately. There is so much more we choose to filter out without acknowledging or even seeing.

IMG_8163I went to Whole Foods and picked up a salad to go tonight. I do not eat alone often so I put my salad in a bowl, poured a glass of wine and enjoyed the tranquility. It’s amazing how much a little quiet solitude can refresh us.

Tonight it was dinner for one. It was good to have the alone time, but tomorrow I look forward to having hubby back by my side.

“Zen masters say you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water.” 
Elizabeth Gilbert