I started this blog 6 years ago, having heard something about “weblogs” and feeling the need to jump on that wagon. I posted perhaps twice, already losing impetus to sustain the original intention of the blog which was to record for posterity the stories I told nightly to my children. Although the intention was good, the stories ended soon after and I lacked time/inclination to use this new weblog-thingy for navel-gazing, since introspection was the last thing I could bear in my then-state of denial.
NOTE: While I don’t deny that I could also be in some state of denial about one thing or another at present as well, the denial I was embracing at that long-ago time is something since uncovered that has led to much inward gazing, so I reserve the right to judge myself, at least a little, about having been in that state once.
Fast-forward a few years, to a time when my creativity and emotions were brimming and wanted an outlet. This became it. Into these pages I poured my life: all the messiness and uncertainty, all my hopes and idealism, all my love and my pain.
I’ve been aware, over the past two years here, of a good many of you who read my journey. I think of you as friends, more than friends really, because you’ve dived into my depths with me at times, or ridden my heights. I know too that some of you read because you are looking for something, something to report to someone else or simply something to report, something to use, perhaps, to hurt. I’ve been aware of this. It’s had an effect on me. I’ve spent less energy here of late because I’m less comfortable letting my passions and pain ooze onto a page where it’s not simply embraced for being yet another part of me, another facet to the unending complexity that is me.
And if I no longer find joy in unearthing all the beauty (even the beauty that others find ugly, or twist somehow into ugliness) that is me here in this venue, it’s time to stop.
This is my last post here.
Thank you, ALL OF YOU, for being here and sharing these bits of my life. I shall miss you.
With all the other excitement around here lately, I somehow failed to mention The Other Thing I Have Been Doing.
This Other Thing involved nature, a group of wonderful people, and a co-created spiritual weekend.Â It was much like last year’s event and yet nothing like it at all:Â last year’s Other Thing marked, for me, a huge letting-go of so much, and the beginning of yet another series of huge transformations and transitions that have continued unabated since then.
NOTE:Â It’s a funny thing about change.Â We tend to think of change as a good thing, like It’s time for a change! or maybe A change will do you good!, and I for one embrace change in theory and in practicality (except when it’s you insisting I change, in which case there is kicking and screaming and general mutterings of resistance).Â But we are always in a state of change, and sometimes change has, well…repercussions.Â Ones that don’t always feel good to you, or to other people.Â We all are catalysts for change both within ourselves and for others, and sometimes It Just Sucks.Â Even though in the end it’s all good.Â So when I say Yay!Â Lots of change this year! I fully acknowledge that that change came replete with interesting repercussions at times for me and for others.
So last year’s event was intentionally a transforming one for me.Â I went there open to change, and change I got.
This year my focus was on fine-tuning some of that.Â I’m already headed now in a very different direction than I was a year ago, and there are some things I want more of.Â So it’ll be interesting to look again in a year and see how that turned out.
And no, I did not ask this time for big change.Â I have learned that lesson, thank you.Â But change there will still be.
Even if I have to talk like Yoda all year.
I’ve been having a revelation I’m going to share with you. It’ll probably burst your bubble, so hang onto your hats, okay? (and watch me while I try to work some other idioms into this post).
Here you go:
Sometimes people don’t like you.
I know, it’s a sad truth, isn’t it? I mean, how can they not like you? You’re so….you. And anyway, I like you. But they don’t. Other people. Sometimes. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
Sometimes people don’t like you, even if they have never met you. Sometimes people just make up their minds about you, for whatever reason. And that’s that. You can try to change their minds about you, you can try to explain situations, but it rarely does any good except make you even more vile and loathsome in their eyes.
Oh well! [shrug]
Why are people like that? Dunno. But it’s taken me a hell of a long time to figure this out. And I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about what people thought of me and trying to correct their erroneous impressions about me.
A friend recently gave me a quote which kind of sums this up, sums up where I am now in all this. Actually she gave me the quote twice, because apparently I needed it twice as much:
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Which means, don’t waste valuable time and energy worrying about what other people think of you. Because sometimes people just don’t like you. And it’s okay that they don’t like you. You, however, can just go about being more of you. And don’t waste time with stuff you can’t do anything about. Like if people like you.
(But you like me, don’t you? I mean, you really like me? Really?)
(Forget I asked that.)
(I know you like me!)
(…and I like you too)
I am sitting here, dumbfounded: in front of me is James Lipton sitting with his pants rolled up to the knee and his feet in a swimming pool, talking about car insurance. So….why? Oh! Have I mentioned I don’t watch a lot of TV? Here are my current Netflix: Volver (which somehow I could not get into after the alcohol I consumed) and two documentaries, Wordplay (about Scrabble) and Show Business: The Road to Broadway. I guess I was into documentaries that week.
Hey! No laughing! Documentaries RUUUULE!
Why would I schedule, SAME DAY, a meeting with The Ex and also a meeting with She Who Cannot be Named?
Actually, they sort of both went well. The wounds hardly show. And! They both read this blog so my awkwardness talking about this is totally a secret. Shhh!
But I had announcements to make, and there is stuff to resolve. I often think that’s the whole point of life: creating stuff between people that requires resolution, and then resolving it. Or not.
So! I have taken the trash out to the curb, both literally and figuratively, and I feel I have accomplished something. Especially since I had to manifest a whole dream about taking the trash out in order to remind me when I finally crawled out of bed that I hadn’t done it last night and therefore needed to get a move on this morning before the truck came. Except in my dream it was pitch-black outside, being in the middle of the night, and I was wearing a nightgown, which I don’t actually own one of in real life. Whatever. Also a long sweater over the nightgown (it was cold outside in the dream), which I also don’t own.
So obviously, the sweater is a symbol for my unresolved conflict about wool and yarn in general, and the trash is a symbol for, well, trash, and the dark is a symbol for my hidden fear of leprechauns.
But lo and behold, the trash man cometh and I now have a whole empty reservoir to fill with all manner of unwanted items. Surely that is also symbolic.
There. I got that out of my system.
Wait a minute, no I didn’t after all. Hang on. Woo!
Okay, there. I think I can talk now.
It’s been a week, hasn’t it? I mean, it’s been A WEEK! Not only has it been a week since I wrote last, about the lovely Valentine’s poem (has it only been a week since then???!), but lots has happened. Not so much on an external level, but internally, boy, things are MOVING!
First. I saw an actual doctor! For an actual physical-malady-thing! I won’t bore you with the details, but it involves peeing and razor blades and drugs, all things I highly recommend you avoid. Except maybe the peeing; that’s hard to avoid. But I’m good now, or on the way to good. So, One Down, and it didn’t feel so terrible to be one of the millions who fall through the health-insurance-free cracks. (Yay for being self-employed!)
Second. Matthew is still here! Imagine my surprise (and his, probably) to find him still here on a two-week visit that began two months ago. And, well, there is transformation with that. Like with everything. Not that I would jinx anything by talking about it, but maybe! And I am still feeling privateish about this relationship, like maybe it’s a gossamer-thin bubble, so delicate that breathing on it even gently will cause it to disappear. Like one day I will wake up and open my eyes and find I have dreamed all this. So I will remain in dreamland just for now, that delicious feeling when you are still warm in bed and half-awake and you know you don’t have to get up yet or even quite awaken from that dream.
Third. I read this post the other day and was amazed at the words exchanged between mother and daughter, the openness about past hurts and present pain, even the blaming. It seemed wrong to me at first, and then it began to seem very right. It got me to thinking. Remember when I wrote this? Since then I have avoided contact with my mother, mostly because It’s Our Way, the Avoidance of Talking About Anything Emotional. But I am getting ready to have some confrontation. I’m completely frightened of it, yet I feel drawn to it at the same time. There are things I really, really need to say, things I don’t even quite yet know what they are but will figure out in the process. So much has been buried for so long, and I don’t want to hold onto it anymore.
Yeah. Well, I don’t have much to report, actually.
Catdeathwatch 2008 is in full effect. Poor Ninja/Nacho has lost bladder control (on my bed, thank you, among other places) and hasn’t eaten or drank in, well, awhile. He can barely walk and can’t go up or down steps any more. This morning’s vet visit may well be his last, because his pitiful face is too heartbreaking.
Thanks to all who posted suggestions about my coffee problem.Â This Whole Foods coffee I’m drinking presently is a temporary solution, and I’m reviewing your suggestions carefully.Â You can’t overlook the importance that these types of vices play in our lives.
So, you know, the transformation stuff.Â It’s been an intense week, rather.Â Things feel actually quite wonderful just now, and I’m hesitant to step off the conveyor belt again into transformationland.Â I’d like to enjoy this feeling of balance for a bit.Â The whole process, this deep inner soul-searching stuff, is as they say like peeling layers off an onion.Â Yeah, except I want to go right to the heart of it, baby!Â Either that or avoid the process entirely, can I do that?
Things I learned this week (that I already knew but had somehow forgotten):
1.Â I always have a choice.Â Woo hoo!
2.Â Um, refer to #1.
3.Â What I see about myself isn’t necessarily the way other people see me.
4. I always have the answers.Â Even when I can’t seem to find them.
There! Wasn’t that fun?
I will leave you with a story:
When I was 3 we lived in a 2-story house in a smallish town in the East Bay Area.Â We had moved there from southern CA, not that I remember much of that place.Â The new house had STAIRS!Â and a playroom where we kept our record player, my brother and I, that played a Smothers Brothers rendition of “Yesterday”.Â True!Â I never heard the music of The Beatles AT ALL until late in high school.Â Where was I?
Anyway.Â The new house had STAIRS (did I mention it had stairs?).Â And we’d relax after a hard day of whatever-it-was we did by watching Batman on TV, the campy version with POW! and ZING!, while dinner magically cooked itself in the kitchen or wherever,Â licking peanut butter off a spoon.
And on good days I’d get someone to fasten Blankie around my shoulders with a big fat safety pin and I could be Robin, flying around the house and hiding from Batman or some Bad Guys under my crib.Â Why didn’t I have a bed?Â I was like three!
And once our cat Lucky, who wasn’t very, got sick or had an accident or something, and he came home from the vet and I SWEAR TO YOU this cat had polka dots.Â Most of his normally black fur was gone, and instead he was white skin and red blood.Â Polka dots.Â I remember this CLEARLY, so I know it happened.Â No one else remembers this.
It feels lately like the number of things I can safely talk about here is becoming smaller and smaller, and I don’t like that feeling. People read this blog who read it simply to report back to others about what I said or did not say about them. That’s wrong. But it’s the way it is.
Still, my thoughts and feelings about things, especially about myself and how I interact with people, continues to change. One thing is certain about life, and that is that it will aways change. Circumstances, perceptions, whatever. Nothing remains static and you can be sure about that. Like where you are right now? Feel comfortable there? Don’t worry, the rug will come out from under you eventually. Not that it’s a bad thing, being flung toward the floor, and if you have great balance it’s no big deal at all! But it will happen. We thrive on change, as much as we resist it.
Oh. So what was I talking about? Oh yes, my mom.
I phone my mom every week. Back some years ago, we didn’t speak as frequently. I was uncomfortable with her, mainly because she was uncomfortable with me. Fine, whatever. But we came to some unspoken understanding and found a place where we could at least interact. Sort of. I mean, if you like shallow water and all. But if anything ever got deeper than that, even a little bit, she’d retreat. I figured I’d just deal with that (after all, it was “good enough”) indefinitely.
Sorry. I have changed my mind. Not gonna do it.
True. I thought I was “over” my issues with my mom, but guess what? I’m not.
So the past few weeks we’ve (or rather, she’s) been talking about a situation at her work. New Manager Guy annoys her. New Manager Guy talks too loud. New Manager Guy asks for too much. New Manager Guy wants her to change the way she’s been doing her job for, like, 20 years. She hates New Manager Guy. So, Karen, what should I do? Please tell me what to dooooo!!
Understand, my mom is 72, almost 73. I’m not sure she needs to work financially, but I have no idea what her financial situation is because she changes the subject if I ask questions like that. It’s fine for me to talk about my kids or the cats or even the herd of cats she feels obligated to feed and care for and can’t spend the night at my brother’s house on Christmas because of because the Cats Might Miss Her and because She Won’t be There to Feed Them (these are OUTDOOR cats. Who live OUTSIDE), but if it gets more personal on either end then things get mighty uncomfortable.
So I ask questions. She vents. I give some advice. Bottom line? I think she’s the victim of age discrimination. I am not litigious by nature, in fact I am the polar opposite of litigious especially after all this fucking time spent in custody/support/divorce court, but I advise her to see someone, to find out what her options are.
After all, she’s on a mandatory suspension from her job right now. (Which is why I can write this, because I am taking the chance she will never read it since she only reads my blog from work…am I playing with fire here?)
So she has some time on her hands.
She only had to say “okay, that’s a good idea, I will think about that.”
That’s all I wanted. I have been in middle management. I know what goes on when a company decides to squeeze someone out. I also know what an employee’s rights are.
But no. “Don’t worry about me, Karen. I can handle it.” Um, yeah. Like you’ve been handling it. Would it be a crime to let someone HELP you?? Hey mom, I KNOW that this makes you uncomfortable, makes you want to run for the hills and then stick your head in the sand when you get there, but there are times when you need to STAND UP FOR YOURSELF DAMMIT!!
Oops, I may be speaking to myself there. My bad.
But hey. She’s getting screwed, I care, and all she had to do was at least acknowledge, or just PRETEND to acknowledge, that maybe Karen had a good idea. Maybe Karen could be right about something. Maybe Karen is trying to help. And maybe I can let someone in, just a little.
I’m all for the idea of choices, believe me. My entire understanding of the universe is built on the concept of Choice, so hey, I GET IT when I see my mom making a choice that I think sucks and will hurt her. I get it. I do. But it hurts me to be so fucking invisible.
Enough. Not invisible any more.
Watch out, people.
It’s kind of funny to discover after years and years that you’re apparently incapable of really resting. It turns out, though, and it’s odd I never noticed this until recently, that I pretty much all the time hold myself in a constant state of tension, of contraction, of defense.
You’d think such a thing would be noticeable, you know? That like ALL my muscles are constantly contracted?
It also explains my living on 4-5 hours sleep a night and the almost insatiable need to Just.Keep.Going.
Well, apparently I’ve had enough.
I first noticed this on my working/vacation in October. The one I still haven’t really posted about, oh, except for this and this and this and this and this. Um, so I guess I did sort of post about it. Whatever. But what I didn’t mention was that while I was there I was really, really, really tired. More so than usual. Even when sleeping in for days at a time for the first time in years and years; in fact, that seemed to almost make things worse. It was like something was telling me slow down.
Yes. Well. That feeling seems to have followed me, as if I am looking for rest, looking to finally unburden myself and just BE.
So we’ve been talking about True Rest recently, Matthew and me. This is a metaphysical-ish concept that’s talked about in the Michael teachings stuff and a lot of people are interested in knowing their own True Rest, True Play, True Study, and True Work. Often that’s the sort of thing I channel for people, and I think it’s useful in getting to know yourself and allowing the True You to come out a bit more, you know?
And I figured out this week what mine is, one of them, anyway. It has to do with watching the patterns light makes, form and shape and whatnot. Like watching the shadows made on a wall by the sun coming through miniblinds. Just observing them, looking at them. For me, it’s restful.
There’s much more about rest and what it is, what it does for you, at this wiki site about channeling. I found it fascinating. (Um, maybe because it’s my work, whatever. But it’s still good stuff, so do have a look! Plus there’s more channeling there too, with more added all the time)
I’ve come to the conclusion that I spend a good part of my time simply putting out fires, as it were. With three children in the house, I suppose it’s no wonder. And I do tend to be a bit, well, distractible. Or I lose sight of priorities (if I even had ever established them on any particular day) and spend, for instance, an hour online searching out a specific birthday present for Serena.
And then I look up, as I did not long ago, to realize that the sun is going down and where did the day go?
I’m a bit perturbed to still be evaluating my days in terms of what I accomplished. Or did not accomplish. Haven’t we any better ways?
I’m pretty sure this isn’t what “being in the moment” is all about. Isn’t unlimited time available, stretchable, bendable?
[insert segue here]
Watched a movie last night with Matthew that I’ve been meaning to see since I heard about it, “Once”. It’s about two people who meet almost randomly, make a lot of wonderful music together, and then move on, their lives forever changed from the experience.
Kind of like life itself.Â Huh.
Anyway, it’s highly recommended and the music was amazing.Â If you haven’t seen it, do.
Today I spent some time hearing some of the music from my past. Music has the magical ability to evoke whole eras in one’s earlier life, whole perceptions and experiences, acting as a pathway to the you that you were once. It does for me, anyway. Sometimes I find I have undergone so much transformation that a particular piece no longer acts on me in the same evocative manner, no longer triggers memories, visualizations, and feelings that belonged to me in an earlier time, but more often than not I find myself transported, at least momentarily, across time to certain periods of my life that seem significant to reopen later on.
That’s what happened today. The era? The early 1990′s. Sure, I paint time backward in bright stunning colors, likely brighter and with far less pain than the original, but something in me today was really reaching out to that particular time in my life, reaching to the person I was then, reaching to all the possibilities that existed within me then. This was before meeting The Ex, before Nathaniel and Serena and Eric, before moving to Colorado and back again. Before. I was driving a lot for my job then, driving from one location to another, driving the spaces between when I’d have to don my Manager Hat again and become the identity I thought I had to be to get the job done, and in that driving time I lost myself in the music, immersed myself in finding new roads and pathways in it, new ways of expression.
I was struck today by the number of possibilities I remembered from that time, remembered now but that went unappreciated at the time, unappreciated since I was bent on paring them down quickly to one, one road ahead, straight ahead with no turning back, no turning aside, no stopping to look. Life for me can be like that at times, as often I have jumped onto a seeming fast-moving belt hurtling in one direction only, one direction with no turns, no bends, no stops, just onward to that destination experience.
I’d like to stop more now if I can, not out of caution but from a desire to enjoy the process, to enjoy the path rather than fixate on the ending. I’d like to think too that these paths aren’t simply one-way anymore, that they have lovely curves and twists and often even revisit some of the same places, places that of course look and feel different each time they are visited.
Touching that music today reinforced my desire to step onto a certain path, a path I’ve been tentatively reaching a toe to in the past year. I don’t know where the path leads, not exactly. I’m not even sure what places it passes on its way, but there’s something about it that calls to me, calls ever-strongly, unceasingly. It calls with music, it calls with touch, it calls me with everything that so much of me cries out for, all those long-released possibilities that lay dormant all those intervening years while I explored other paths, those possibilities that I touched again, recognized instantly through the magic of music. They’re not the same as they once were, those possibilities, as I can never look at anything the same way I once did when I saw it for the first time, but in the meantime those possibilities have grown and have become far larger than I ever imagined them when they were new, and it’s those I reach toward now, those that are part of the path that I am about to step onto, about to grab hold of, about to place my trust in.