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When running away isn’t an option

When the urge to run away is strong…finding something stronger, inside, seems like the prudent thing to do. We buck-er uppers buck up. It’s what we do.

But when you wake up, smell the coffee and realize you are almost always doing the “prudent thing to do” when you don’t WANT to do the prudent thing… what then?

When do you untangle “want to” from “need to” and identify and separate personal desire from individual and parental responsibility.

When the urge to scream is rising up inside and you are feeling unsure about your ability to squelch it… where do you scrape up the energy to dig down, deeeep, and get a grip?

I’m so desperate that writing is going to be my release, my pressure valve. Nothing organized to say. Nothing inspiring to share.

Just gonna write.  And hope.

Feeding my spirit, calming my brain

I’m starting out the new year with fresh hope, new optimism, a small flicker of self esteem that I will nurture, feed…love and protect.

I accept the past; I’m not running from the past. I am focused on acceptance. The past, is past. What I am concentrating on, now, is right here. Right now. I have boldly identified my goals. And I am determined to take positive, definitive, daily steps towards them.

I, and I alone, am responsible for my life. It’s pretty simple, really. It’s actually so very simple –when it hits you upside of the head — that it’s sobering.

 

     Luke: All right, I’ll give it a try.

     Yoda: No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.

 

I don’t know what it looks like, the new place I’m headed. My brain cannot picture it, just yet. So my brain craves the comfort of what once was.

But Life has, in a million ways already, shown me that I cannot get to a new destination by following my old path.  The past year, I’ve proven to myself that I can’t get anywhere by staying plunked down where I am, either.

New map. New resolve. New energy. It’s time to go.

Forward.

Just committing to this has set off the dreaded cacophony upstairs, in my brain. It’s a challenge that rages…one between the spirit that wants to rise up, to soar and the over-thinking brain that wants to anchor, to temper, to protect, out of fear of failure.

Turning off that cacophony, getting to a place of focus and purpose, particularly without medication and without utilizing dysfunctional old behaviors or calling friends or relatives and attempting to decompress by spilling out the tumult onto them…..that is my goal this day.

Writing this slowed my breathing. My spirit is gaining an upper hand on the brain.

When thou shalt knot

Life’s been knotty lately. And, my attempts to keep blinders on and stay on the same path, has contributed to it getting knottier. It’s like pulling out the entwined earphones for your cell phone from your pocket or purse. You give them a shake…hoping they will magically untangle. But the shake, if anything, makes the knot worse.

Perhaps out of desperation, I pulled out a Tony Robbins CD a friend had given me a couple years ago. I suppose One could say that desperate times call for desperate measures. Okay, One wouldn’t say that. (But One could.)

Anyway. There was some truth on the CD I was listening to.  At the very least, it was interesting. And I was fine while I was listening. I was even feeling more personally motivated…while I was listening.

But, eventually, I told myself to stop listening and start doing. Do the homework.

What’s the homework? To figure out what pain and what pleasure I have attached to things I’ve been needing to do…but have been avoiding.

I know better than to believe there is any magic pill. And I know better than to think that running away from problems changes or solves them. Usually, quite the opposite. And yet…..running away is precisely what I’ve been doing.

But, now, the cost of running is greater, is more painful, than facing and overcoming the fear and pain attached to actually working on the issues.

I’ve come a long way. I am no longer married. I am no longer in therapy. I am no longer medicating away pain. Now it’s time to stop running. It’s time to breathe. It’s time to work through the knots.

There is simply me. And there is simply here and now, the present moment.

I know what I am not. What I need to focus on is what I am. And what I am is learning to deal with reality, straight up and on my own.

I am enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is WordPress low carb?

Overwhelmed, tired, frustrated, sad… and, above all else, angry with myself. One solution is to take a pity party break and eat. Indulge. Eat something my body really doesn’t want or need but my brain is convincing me will absolutely make the situation life as I know it, better.

So. The voice, the choice has become louder.

Today, in this moment, I am going to eat -or- I am going to write.

I choose to write.

I’ve been absent a long time from blogdom. I don’t even know if I know how to do this anymore. Life has continually been changing and I’ve been resisting, wasting precious energy. I’ve been feeling adrift, scared, sometimes practically immobilized at a point when I can readily see that the most important thing I can do is focus my concentration,  address difficult challenges head on and make some very necessary positive changes.

Eating junk food and eating late at night has added to my problems. I. must. stop.

I choose mindfulness.

I choose to stop, breathe. Be present.

Writing this out is changing the gray struggles to more clear, easier to handle, black and white, choices.

My sense of humor [the title], is trying to bubble to the surface. That, too, will help.

Positive steps.

Changing coarse

Life has been extremely challenging lately. I not only want, but desperately need, to create a new horizon. It’s the stuff of Star Trek…it’s time to boldly go where I’ve not gone before! I have, albeit at first reluctantly, become intent on changing course. 

It dawned on me today, however, that the course change may become easier with a change of coarse, at the same time. Whatever direction I proceed, I realize that the flight will be easier if I stop focusing energy on the coarse… on what is currently rough… and, instead, concentrate on the positive, on beauty, and on those things that are going smoothly.

This morning, two positive things happened. First, I noticed an amazing work of nature. Second? I noted and celebrated that a part of me, once again emerging, was quiet enough, calm enough, to see and appreciated the beauty that is around me. 

diamonds in the rough

water droplets on a spider’s work of art

 

Can you blog in twenty minutes or less?

I was going to entitle this, “Blogging at the speed of slight” but changed my mind. All that changing of my mind. Therein lies the rub. 🙂

My last post, I was writing in response to a question on the Daily Prompt. I decided that I wanted to see if I could take a topic from the Daily Prompt site, craft a response, and post it — all within 15 minutes. The concept, behind this goal, was that this would be a step in the write direction. (yes, pun intended for you spelling nazis). I want to start writing more and less…writing more often with less self-limiting barriers. Ok, we all know that should be fewer self-limiting barriers. {sigh}  I digress.

I love to blog, but I sometimes let perfectionism and time steal that love away. If my brain is unsettled (which is most of the time, lately)….if I don’t know the perfect way I want to say something…if I don’t have the perfect atmosphere (meaning a relatively quiet room) in which to write – I often do the writing only in my head. As much as I have good intentions to retain the ideas and actually get to my blog, later, and get them down in print – I don’t.

I went to the Daily Prompt and the question was: Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing, or event from the last month of your life into the glistening marble of immortality. What’s the statue and what makes it so significant?

I didn’t have much, (ok, I had nothing!) but I made a conscious choice to not fall into the perfectionism crevasse and disappear for days. I had a slight glimmer of an answer and so, I began writing. There was nothing earth shattering about my post. It wasn’t inspiring or enlightening or in any way entertaining. It won’t rank up there on my memory meter.

I completed it in less than an hour…less than thirty minutes. I didn’t seize up, freeze up and give up as the clock’s deafening ticking (in my head; after all, I was using my phone) reached, then passed, the original goal of 15 minutes. I finished, as quickly as possible, did a lightening fast once-over, and hit ‘publish.’

I accomplished my goal…which wasn’t really about blogging in 15 minutes or less, but my trying to loosen the bonds of perfectionism and anxiety. I was doing, not planning. I was writing, not wishing. I was overcoming inertia.  I think the goal -or mission- of the Daily Prompt is to stir WordPress writers’ creative juices when those creative juices are in short supply. And it works – if you let it!

Writing begets writing.  The more I write, the more I feel passion rising and the greater my determination to find make time for writing. Getting started…just jumping in there… is more than half the battle. I can’t wait for the perfect…anything. Perfect time. Perfect quiet. Perfect expressive language in my head.

Life’s not perfect.

My former counselor would be so happy I can say that, now, without a whinge attached to it. 😀

As it turns out, there was a second opportunity to examine my writing goal(s) and my life perspective within my answer to the Daily Prompt question. When I later went to the site to go read others’ responses to the question in question, the first post I landed on made my mouth drop open. I missed something when I read the question!

Wow. How did I miss that ‘Y’ in the road? DID I MISS THAT? Or did my ‘monkey brain’ merrily speed me off in one direction without my consciousness even sitting with the question long enough to focus and become aware of the possibilities of the other?

When you read the above question…do you see it?

Last or past? Many writers, who responded to that question, construed the phrase “from the last month of your life” to mean other than, literally, the last month of our life. Many of us interpreted the phrase to mean the recent past month of our life.

Interesting, ¿no?

Now, I may face more questions, such as  (1) What would I have my brilliant artist sculpt in the last month of my life and/or (2) Is living in the present (and not thinking about the end of my life) the same as being present?

Let there be light

Daily Prompt: Michelangelo’s YOU

Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing, or event from the last month of your life into the glistening marble of immortality. What’s the statue and what makes it so significant?

A lightbulb went off when I read today’s daily prompt. That’s happened quite a lot this past month…  Those effervescent little gems of warm light and pleasantness that suddenly sparkle bright when a new idea or awareness comes into full bloom in my consciousness. It’s a pure, delicious sensation. And usually quite helpful in illuminating my path.

That’s the sculpture I’d choose: a lightbulb going off. It will be a difficult task, I suppose…creating an interesting sculpture of this event. But my sculptor is ingenious; s/he will create something……………..brilliant.

Dear God, please give me a delete key. Thank you. Amen.

Do you ever change your mind about a blog post and delete it?  The delete key is so easy! Do you ever wish you could use a “delete key” on decisions/situations in your life? Have you ever made a decision and…ooops!…right away, knew it wasn’t a good decision?

Voila! A personal delete key!!  Delete it and start over! How amazing would that be?

Different than a discussion about how God/a person’s Higher Power has the capacity to do that for us or not… wouldn’t it be terrific if we each came equipped with such a key? Even one of limited usage! Say, three “deletes”  for a lifetime? You would have to decide for yourself, “Is this such a mistake that I want to use one of my deletes and start over?”

I suppose this question has surfaced for me because, from the moment I hit “publish” I began pondering deleting my previous post. Well… even more strongly than the doubt and OCD “rethinking” that I usually deal with.

I felt better, in the moment, for having written it and gotten it out of my head. But, immediately, the snarkiness factor got to me. I began debating.  I dislike debating with myself. I’m a tough cookie. And arguing both sides, with equal gusto, is completely exhausting. Not to mention, mostly unproductive.

Bottom line: I have been asking myself whether the core of my previous post is in alignment with my values.

I don’t want to wallow in the negative but live my life with a positive attitude and outlook. I want to make the best…and leave the rest. POSITIVE. That is how I choose to live my life.

Where does frustration and releasing anger fit? Does “snarky” ever fit in that picture?

I value expressing myself and letting out my frustrations in an appropriate place and manner so that those frustrations don’t spill out, later. I try to avoid having pent up frustrations accumulate which could, when I am tired, easily spill out on my youngest daughter, who has special needs and who, fairly frequently, brings up the topic of her father during her time with me.

Typically, I share frustrations with my friends, usually choosing to share “divorce frustrations” with friends who, like me, have gone through or are going through the fire similar circumstances. Later, when the circumstances are reversed, I try to offer a safe and (hopefully) sane place for them to share their own frustrations.

When the planets are in (or out) of alignment, and all of us are going through unusually trying divorce-related challenges, it gets difficult, choosing how much to share, where, and with whom.

The debate goes on.

A word to the wise (guys)

Dear Lawyer:

I was so happy to receive your caring and compassionate letter; it almost made my day. While totally understanding that you and my ex husband only have my very best interests at heart, unfortunately, I must gently decline your kind request. I can truly appreciate that my ex husband is struggling, merely trying to move on after the dissolution of our three decade long marriage. Goodness gracious, I didn’t realize that it’s been over a year and a half since we signed our divorce agreement. Why, that’s practically ten…in dog years.

Mr. Lawyer, I hope you understand how very empathetic I am to my ex’s plight. His life is truly challenging; I’m continually amazed and inspired. Honestly, I just don’t know from where he draws the money to retain you his strength. We all know that, in this economy, a six figure income with amazing benefits and perks, just doesn’t stretch as far as it once did. I’m certain he is genuinely suffering much stress at trying to figure out how to improve maintain his lifestyle. I have a couple suggestions for him, if he’s interested?

Please communicate to my ex how very sorry I was to hear of his broken engagement last Christmas; I’m sure that was very distressing. However, I am hoping and praying that he is finding some amount of solace and comfort from his new girlfriend, new car, two vacations, his boat, and the new landscaping and complete interior renovation of our former his home.

Thank you, again, for your warm and sincere letter.

Fondly,

Greece is the word

Daily Prompt: On the Road

If you could pause real life and spend some time living with a family anywhere in the world, where would you go?

With my real life paused for, oh, about a month, I’d thoroughly enjoy spending time with a Greek family on a lovely island in the Aegean Sea.  I would truly love learning about their culture, savoring the amazing food of the region and committing every spectacular piece of the breathtaking scenery to my memory.

From the time I was a teenager, I’ve been enthralled by photographs and movie scenes I’ve seen of Greece. More recently, a friend’s personal stories of the warmth and graciousness of the Greek families she encountered on a vacation captured my heart and imagination.

No need to ask me twice: Greece is the word.

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