November 13th, 2017 | No Comments »

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child…

It’s time to put the big boy pants back on.  I’ve been struggling, trying to regroup and regain strength with which to face all that is before me.  I’m at a loss to articulate the whats and wherefores, and I’ve found myself again in a place of internal anguish and exhaustion.  I find myself chasing restoration via a web of neovascularization; thought streams venturing out looking for nourishment in unfriendly terrain.

fractalleaf

now I know in part

Where is the healing for the healer?  Where is the guidance for the guide?   The answers are always given to me, when I pay attention and notice.  When I’m weary and depleted I look for ways to replenish and nourish my fragmented self.  Sometimes my efforts seem to fail and I’m left feeling even more frustrated and worn.  Sometimes, on days like this day, I just have to stop.

…the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof…

When I catch myself feeling frustrated, falling to the base emotions that I so heartfully want to overcome, I struggle through a barrage of thoughts along these lines: Why do I feel this way?  What do I need?  Why am I thinking ungraciously?  Why am I annoyed?  What do I expect?

I need to be gracious.  I can’t expect anyone to think as I think, see as I see, feel as I feel, understand as I understand, know as I know.

through a glass darkly

Everything is nothing and nothing is everything.  What if it’s all the same.  Or everything matters and nothing matters.  What if that’s all the same.  Consider the perfection of a circle.  The starting point is the finishing point.  They are one and the same.  It takes something external to provide a reference of distinction.  Time.  I can tell the difference between the beginning and the end when I introduce time, but the thing is, that point, zero degrees or 360 degrees, remains that point, whether time is involved or not.  Is it a beginning?  Is it an end?  Maybe it just is.

The reminder that came to me has everything to do with time.  Life as I know it is a journey, and we are all at different stages with different capacities, abilities, understandings and levels of knowledge.  Our world views are limited by our own exposure and awareness.  Ages and stages.  There is generally an order of progression with things.  I suppose that defines growth.  We are all at different ages and stages.

and yet show I unto you a more excellent way

I can’t expect anybody to understand me.  I’m not even sure why I have such a hunger.  Maybe it’s an existential thing.  Maybe if I felt understood, then I would feel valid.  As if I need a reason to be.  I certainly don’t want my children to think they need a reason to be!  So why would I think such a thing for myself?!

At this age and stage, I’m the grownup in the room.  I have to put the big boy pants back on.  Help is and always has been when and where I need it.  Everything that I need is available to me, when I open my eyes.  Life is a treasure, full of breathtaking wonder, a dazzling tapestry all around me, for my own joy and rejoicing.  I have all the strength and love that I need.  I am here.  Now.

June 27th, 2016 | No Comments »

…limitless, undying love which shines around me like a million suns…

tree_kaleidoscope_curly

seeing things differently

I am always looking for deeper understanding regarding this portion of breath I’ve been given.  Probably I’m late to the party, but it occurs to me that so often we (going grandiose here with a sweeping generalization) get caught unawares and find ourselves stuck in thoughts that we accept as truth without ever questioning from whence they come.  If we were to stop for a moment, before we think the thought, or rather, before we finish the thought and experience the associated emotions that accompany that thought, we just might realize that there is no foundation in that thought, and it can therefore be dismissed.  Poof!  Gone!  Emotional impact averted.

Dr. Wayne Dyer mentions this very thing in Excuses Be Gone — referring to the Virus of the Mind as described by Richard Brodie.  There’s a word to describe this phenomenon. Meme.

A meme (/?mi?m/ MEEM) is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”.

That’s all fine and good, but I can feed my brain with deep and rich words all the day long and never get anywhere.  I ponder these things, again and again, yet somehow I tend to miss the element that allows the information to sink in and become firmly rooted.  Probably this is a side effect of my general life coping mechanism, in which I remember hooks and tags that will lead me to the information I need, because keeping an active reference open at all times is simply overwhelming (for me).  This, also, is why I write!  Once I capture these thoughts, I can safely let them go, and therefore de-clutter my mind.

All that aside, it’s been a life-long hunger, this need to separate the wheat from the chaff, and get down to the meat of the matter, any matter.  Truth.  With a capital T.  Hence the persistent Why?

I’ve been swimming against the current.  It’s exhausting.  The preacher had it figured out.  It’s pretty much all spelled out in Ecclesiastes.  You can be rich.  You can be poor.  You can be weak.  You can be strong.  You can be well.  You can be sick.  You can be wise.  You can be foolish.  Ultimately, what matters?  We all, at some point, die.  This life, this breath, is our portion.  It’s all that we have.  It’s a gift.  A gift!

A gift is a beautiful thing.  It’s a treasure, to be enjoyed, not wasted.  It’s a smile to be shared.

Recently I found myself pondering this deeply, thinking outside the box, so to speak.  Like having a conversation with a young child.  Why are there stars? I have some beautiful memories of conversations like this.  All the why questions, from a young and beautiful soul, seeking wisdom from an adult.  Only this time, I was the young and beautiful soul, and no matter which angle I approached my question, the answer was the same, delivered in a wash of warmth and light, a glowing infusion of love.  It was a nebulous question, really.  Something about life, and how I should be living it.  With each angle, I would pose it another way.  What about this?   What about that?  Point.  Counterpoint.  For as many facets carved in a gem, I would approach from every angle I could imagine.  With every wash of understanding that flowed over, through and around me, I would laugh in delight as it sunk in.

There is nothing to worry about.  Nothing.  You are safe.  You are part of a love that spans the universe and beyond, from forever to forever.  Life is beautiful.  You are alive.  You are beautiful.  Let each moment’s focus be joyful, because everything is going to be okay.  Everything IS okay.  This is how life should be lived.  Eyes wide open.  Heart wide open.  Joyful.  Each moment a moment of giddy delight.

October 20th, 2015 | 2 Comments »
a matter of perspective

a matter of perspective

Night time, alone, I sit in my bed with my thoughts.  Music softly fills the background.  I sit with my back against the leather headboard. Toni Childs sings The Dead are Dancing. I sit, letting thoughts of my life drift through my mind. Tears stream down my face. My thoughts are in parallel with unuttered prayers. What is expected of me, come tomorrow? Mother. I’m a mother. Yet here I sit, late at night, cleaving to whatever fragments of thought I can visualize that represent me.  My essence. My spirit. My soul. My self.  I take this moment to find myself, to honor myself.  Otherwise, through the day, I live from moment to moment to moment, consumed by the myriad tasks and responsibilities that never end.

Tears.

Tears.

Tears.

So healing.

Could I even do this, sit in silence with my thoughts and my tears, if I were married? How do people who are coupled survive? They must be able to find the moments they need, no matter their life situation. Or maybe most people aren’t like me.

Probably.

I suppose I’m a rare bird.

Part of me hungers and aches for the feeling of being wanted. It seems so ridiculous, to spend a lifetime chasing such a fleeting experience. As if I’m missing something. Does anybody else feel this? Why do I? I feel so alone. I always feel so alone. Why? I am NOT alone! So how can I feel this? Why do the tears continue to stream down my face? I wish I knew.

~*~*~*~

Coping. How do people learn to cope? How do they learn about coping? When I was young, I had lots of headaches and tummy aches. As in, every day. Every single day. My sensitive nature has been with me all along. As an adult, here I am, 50 years old, pondering the notion of coping. I have a gin with olives that I’m nurturing, and a playlist of some of my favorite tunes set on shuffle, keeping me company. The boys are peacefully retired for the night. The morning reality includes a commute — 1.5 hours realistically; 2+ hours if conditions aren’t favorable. It’s excruciating for the gentle soul that I am to face that in the morning. Daily. Its so hard for me. So I sit here, again propped in my bed, tears streaming, thinking of the word ‘cope’. I’m coping.

Why am I not shaking my fist at the sky and triumphing? Why am I just coping? Everything is SO GOOD.

SO. GOOD.

My life is truly GOOD! So why am I struggling so? Will I ever make peace with myself? Is it all about me, when it boils down to it?

~*~*~*~

I don’t mind being raw. I don’t mind being vulnerable in writing these things that represent my moment, my now, my thoughts and emotions as they travel across the landscape of my mind and my heart.  Truth is truth. It’s courageous. I rock! I say what others might not have the courage to say.

And the dead are dancing again. Probably it’s meant to be, the way the music shuffles and certain songs repeat. All things have a reason.

Love. <3 I’m writing love everywhere. <3 Leaving love everywhere. <3  Cuz that’s all I am, when it boils down to it. Love.  <3

~*~*~*~

I don’t mind being raw. Truth is truth.

June 18th, 2015 | No Comments »

I have a LOT of time to think during my commute.  This morning I was watching my thoughts and my emotions as they swirled about, playing with and against each other.  There was nothing concrete; it was all very nebulous.  I noted that thoughts and emotions are completely different animals, so it’s almost futile to even attempt to manage or  understand them in the same manner.  Thoughts can be concrete and follow reason, so they can be grasped, given the effort.  Emotions,  however, are entirely different.  They are a form of data that requires a completely different translator.  The same rules of analysis don’t apply.

I’ve been wondering why certain emotions are surfacing.  Logically, there is little to no reason for anything but giddy happiness.  Life is so GOODMY life is so good!  Yet these emotions are surfacing and overtaking me.  Just when I think I’m all sorted out, grounded, steady, solid — BAM, tears are streaming from my face and my heart feels as though it’s clenched by an iron fist.

For some reason, I thought of PTSD.  It’s not reserved for battle scarred war heroes, you know.  Not that I want to assign another disorder to the list of labels already attached to me, but the words themselves –post, trauma, stress– align well with the emotional experience that I’m trying to describe.  I also thought of memories and associations.  So many associations stir fragments of memories that evoke buried emotions.  A song, the color of the sky, a turn in the road, the sound of a voice –so many random things in any given day can stir something up.

Memories are things of the past, and the experiences are over.  Any traumas and stresses were overcome, because they are in the past.  I am here.  I am healthy.  I am strong.  So why and how can an associated memory bring me to my knees and knock the wind from me and rob me of my now?  As I was pondering this, I wondered in terms of PTSD.  Maybe at the time I couldn’t actually process or deal with whatever it was.  Maybe survival was the only thing that I had the bandwidth for (and may the gods and my departed dad forgive my overabundant use of stranded prepositions).  Maybe, when caught up in the fray of whatever drama I was caught up in, all I could do was stay afloat and suppress rather than address the emotions and stresses du jour.  So maybe, because I’m no longer in sheer survival mode, the associations that stir memories release those emotions as though they are fresh.  BAM!  Ouch!  Me no likey.

I wanted to write these thoughts down, and I thought I’d entitle this post, “memories and associations” — it has a certain flair.  But it also rings a bell (hello?  how many things are endless repeats in this blog?), and so it happens that I’ve written at length about memories and associations before.  I re-read that post and thought, oh shit.  More tears.  I really needed more tears.

So here I am again.  I wish I knew a healthy way to address the emotions that overtake me.  I wish I knew how to pick and choose which emotions could overtake me.  I’d love to keep the giddy highs and dismiss the dark lows.  I bet it’s possible.  I just need to find the right decoder ring.

June 16th, 2015 | No Comments »

Stage I.  Darkness

I’ve had an epiphany of sorts regarding depression. Maybe it’s best not to make a global statement here and I will simply qualify this conclusion as a description of my own particular depression.

The state of being depressed is the inability to feel, see, hear, remember or understand love.  When I say love, I mean all love.  The love that others have for me, the love that I have for others, and the love I have for myself.  In short, a love eclipse.  Complete and utter darkness.

In the moments when I am stuck there, it’s almost impossible to imagine being elsewhere, because at those times there IS no elsewhere.  It’s a lost land.  Another world. Breaking free from that place is almost unfathomable. During those moments of darkness,my thoughts drift to the conclusion that life (in this form) is pointless and empty, and being gone would mean no longer feeling the desolation of the absence of love.  Add to that the vile voice from without, sneering the words “you are unlovable”.  At the same time, I yearn for loving arms to hold me, without judgment over my ridiculous display of ego, while my tears release the poison that somehow got stuck inside me.  Clearly (now that I am collecting my thoughts), the yearning for the external expression of loving kindness is to thwart those acrid words, proving that I am, in fact, lovable.  So yes, I feel the need for an outside source to envelop me, accept me, and let me be me, while I flush the icky stuff out.  Also at the same time, I am tempted to flee and sequester myself from humanity altogether.  I want to hide somewhere alone, curled up in fetal position, and weep until I am strong enough to emerge.  Meanwhile, another part of my brain also derides me for this despicable self absorptive indulgence.  I am well aware that in this place, my ego is running wild, an untamed beast.  I am also fully aware that, logically, reasonably, the balance of positive things in my life so far outweighs any measly negatives, that in reality there is absolutely no shortage of love in my life, and it’s almost inconceivable that I would or could ever get to such a place of despair.  I don’t want to feel like this.  Ever.  And yet I do.

It’s perplexing.  It’s embarrassing.

I got stuck there for a little while yesterday.  I felt it coming on the day before, and tried to power through it with various thoughts and reasonings.  I even went so far as to try the prescription my doctor gave me when I tried to describe this phenomenon of getting stuck once in a while.   In all fairness, the pill did help a little.  I could feel that I had taken something, and I could feel it maybe keep the wave at bay, but it didn’t keep it from hitting.  In fact, I felt disoriented the next morning, and that could be due, in part, to the effects of the medication.  At any rate, the eclipse happened.  I knew it was coming and I didn’t know how to diffuse it.  Bam.

Stage II.  Anger

I come out of it when I get some sleep and rest, and distance myself with a little time, but I noticed this morning that, although the darkness and despair is gone, something else lingers.  It’s like a constipation of the brain.  I’m nearly full up, blocked up, and have barely any margin for throughput, so the slightest inconveniences or irks or frustrations push me to the ragged edge where I feel like I’m gonna blow, and I just want to explode somehow, or smash something, break something, do something, anything, to get this detritus OUT of me.  It manifests as anger.  I start dredging up thoughts of other frustrations or experiences, etc etc etc, and think about how awful so and so was, and how horrible such and such was, then immediately turn it back on myself, because ultimately, I’m the one who made the choices that put me in the situations that resulted in the various unpleasant outcomes.  So then I chastise myself for my poor choices, for wafting through life with my idealistic notions that all people are good and nice and honest and loving and kind, and everyone deserves a chance because who am I to think that I am better than someone, or that someone is unworthy of me –rather than exercise a little bit of common sense and self respect to protect my heart and my soul, for God’s sake.  Ohhhhhh, I’ve already been down this thought path before, and established that I am The Fool.  I may yet come out of this diatribe emotionally intact.  So.  Anger.  Because I am not at liberty to break or smash things, I manifest with tears.  I must be quite the vision, should passersby glance in my car as I’m driving to or from work.  Sobbing, otherwise attractive woman behind the wheel.

Stage III.  Back in the Saddle

I’m glad that I took the time to try to capture these thoughts.  Well intentioned friends and family members may point out that I don’t love myself (enough, not necessarily at all), or don’t respect myself (enough, not necessarily at all), or that I don’t treat myself as though I am complete or whole.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It’s a whole helluva lot easier to see things from another perspective when you’re on the outside.  I don’t know.  This blog is testimony to my emotional struggles.  I should probably take some time to write about the joys and wins, but I’m generally too busy enjoying and living those days and moments to bother documenting them.  Writing out and working through my struggles helps me get back to my normal self.  I suppose it’s true to say that when I am caught up in a dark place, of course I’m not whole, of course I’m not complete, of course I’m not self-loving, of course I’m not self-respectful.  Which causes which?  If I were whole, etc, would I ever get caught in that dark place?  Or am I whole, except when I get caught in that dark place?

The mere fact that I felt it coming leads me to think that with proper and rigorous vigilance, I could thwart it.  And if that’s the case, maybe I don’t have depression at all.  Maybe I just have an untrained, untamed mind.  And if’n that’s the case, well I’munna beat that thang into submission.

Posted in depression, ego, me
June 9th, 2015 | 2 Comments »

Being the vain creature that I am, I like best the photos in which I look lovely.  It makes perfect sense.  If I feel as though I look good, I might actually feel good.  Why is self-esteem such a strange beast for so many?  From our earliest days we are bombarded with images and ideas of what is pleasing and acceptable, and God help us if we don’t measure up to whatever standards are presented.  All that aside, it’s always been somewhat interesting, the disparity between how people see themselves and how others may see them.  This could hold true for more than just face value.  Ha ha.  Face value.  I slay myself sometimes.  What I mean to say is that the view  we have of ourselves, be it our emotional element, our mental element, our spiritual element, or our physical element, may vary widely from the view others hold as they perceive us.

Recently my mother expressed interest in updating her profile photo on Facebook.  She imagined that she must look so much better now than she did last year, as she’s lost quite a lot of weight since then.  Last year my sisters and I ditched our families and responsibilities for a weekend and descended upon our mom’s lair to celebrate her birthday.  We had a wonderful grown up girls time together, and even subjected our poor mother to endure a photo shoot in which we, the artists, applied makeup, arranged hair, advised wardrobe and took photos.  It was a time to treasure, in so many ways.  It was the first time we’ve  had a photo taken together.  Ever.  We were being girly.  My mother is NOT girly.  We would giggle when we’d notice her peeking at her reflection when she passed a window or a mirror.  She would scoff and grumble, but secretly we could tell that she was tickled by what she saw.  We all looked so beautiful, and not one of us under the age of forty.

glamour girls

I always see my sisters as beautiful, regardless of makeup, hairdo, or wardrobe.  They are eternal to me, locked in my heart as silken beauties with intelligence and abilities that span the cosmos.  We are KIM GIRLS!!  But I know with certainty that they don’t see themselves as the radiant beauties and paragons of humanity that I see.  I wish they did, because THEY ARE!!!

This year, while visiting my mother, I took a quick photo and showed it to her.  She was dismayed, to say the least.  The face she saw in the photo clearly did not match the visage she imagined.  I love the photo, though.  I love it because it’s a facet of our reality.  In this photo, I see, almost for the first time, our resemblance.  For most of my life, much of this resemblance has been masked by the prominence of my Korean heritage, but in this photo, it is very clear that we are cut from the same cloth.  This is a reflection of our everyday selves.  Unpolished.  Untamed.  These are the faces of a mother and daughter, 25 years apart in age.  She is 75 and I am 50.

peas in a pod

We both look dramatically different from the earlier photo.  We’ve gone from Vanity Fair to Mother Earth News.  Regardless of what I actually look like, I still prefer to imagine myself in a similar light as I see my sisters — timeless exquisite beauties.  And so it is, that I continue to wear the emperor’s new clothes.  But I’m not so vain that I won’t share a picture like this, that is more likely a representation of reality than any of the other pictures I share.  I can look at a picture like this and see a different kind of beauty.  I can see that I am my mother’s child.  She is, and always has been, beautiful to me.  A glamour girl like her own (and only) sister?  No.  A winner of any sort of popularity contest?  No.  An old hag in her own estimation.  But to me?  She is and always has been indomitable.  A pioneer spirit who can make something from almost nothing.  A tenacious survivor.  These are all beautiful traits that I am happy to inherit, should Providence be so inclined.

Posted in ego, family, me, mental health
June 2nd, 2015 | 1 Comment »

I’m glad that I wrote about exploitation the other day.  It helped me process thoughts more productively.

Exploitation suggests an offender –the one exploiting, and a victim –the one exploited.  It absolves, somewhat, the one exploited from the responsibility of the situation.  Not that I am advocating transferring responsibility for a situation to someone, anyone, or anything other than myself….

Now that some thoughts have had a chance to mill about outside of the coulda woulda shoulda trap, I’ve finally been able to get somewhere.  Now I can and do reclaim responsibility for all of it.  Maybe I was a victim, maybe not.  Well, that man on the train had no right to invade my space, and that Iranian dude had no right to amuse himself with me in the manner that he did…    ….and that ex boyfriend really had no right to do me while I was asleep.  Had I woken up and gotten involved, well hello, that would be a different matter altogether (what’s better than barely waking and reaching for the one you love, and moving together in union and harmony in a semi conscious state?  How sexy and amazing is that?!), but I did not (wake up or respond in any way), and he proceeded, so yeah, he had no right to do that.  I was curious, truth be told.  Curious as to whether he would proceed or not.  It was a test, I suppose, and he failed….    Anyway.  I am not a victim.  I don’t know why or even how some things happen the way they do.  I am no longer hungry for an explanation for any of it.  I’ve decided to let it all go.  It’s something from the past, and the minute that it became history, it lost its power over me.  I don’t know why it took me almost 25  years to figure that out, though.

I’m learning the value of the now.  The only moment for which I have complete control is the moment that I’m experiencing now.  Now!  I am who I am.  I am who I choose to be.  I am who I want to be.  I can draw from the wisdom that has accumulated through the years and the experiences of other times, and I can choose to let all of the experiences be just that.  Wisdom.  Nothing else.  They can’t bring me down.  They aren’t an anchor, holding me down or holding me back.  I don’t want to be sad.  I don’t want to be angry.  I don’t want to be depressed.  I don’t want to be gloomy.  I don’t want to be hurt.  I have no desire for vengeance.  Besides all that, I’m a firm believer that good things come, always, always, always, somehow, from the ashes and anguish and sorrows and tears.  Always, good things come.  So in addition to that certainty, I now have this revelation, this added bonus, this wellspring of effervescent joy.  This is my moment, my life, this time that I am breathing, this instant.  This is mine!  This is my life!  I’m not going to be duped into allowing the past to steal my present.  No more!! And I’m not going to let the future steal my present either.  While I may have some input as to what my future holds, there is absolutely nothing that is certain.  Nothing except for the now.  My now.  My present.  This is what I have.  It’s all that any of  us has.  I’m claiming it.  Owning it.  It’s MINE!  This is life!  THIS.  IS.  LIFE.

brown eyed girl

I am exactly who, what, and how I want to be in this very moment.  I am good!  I am kind!  I am loving!  I am gentle!  I am strong!  I am smart!  I am capable!  I am resourceful!  I am responsible!  I am lovely!  I am fun!  I am creative!  I am happy!  I am healthy!  I am joyful!  I am alive!

Hello world.  It’s me.

Me!

March 22nd, 2015 | 1 Comment »

SUCK IT, FIFTY!

I’ve been struggling with anxiety over the milestone looming on my horizon.  It’s taken many forms, and has been mostly low grade, but mounting.  I thought for a moment that with such a milestone I should do something memorable or have something memorable to show for it.  I don’t know.  The last time I bought myself something ridiculously expensive as a milestone memento, it was stolen.   Not that that will completely take the wind out of the sails for any future extravagances, but it does leave some tarnish on the idea.  Anyway.  I have been feeling like I should go somewhere special, or buy something special, or do something special.  But I’m at such a loss.  I haven’t had any time to make any plans, as far as the notion of a getaway goes.  Where would I go, and what would I do?  Logistics.  God knows I need a break (ummm, I did just take a week and cruise to Mexico with my kids and all told, fifteen family members, and it was so wonderful to spend time with family, and it was so wonderful to feel and breathe warm ocean air and hear the sound of waves lapping against the boat, hour upon hour upon hour, and  yes, that was amazing, but of course I will throw in a but…   ….but in order to take any time off I have to complete all the work that I would have to do for the week that I’m away, which means, really, no break from work at all…  whine, whine, whine) and a rest and I don’t know what.  I need something.  I’ve been struggling with the changing tides of my work for some time now.  There’s little to no respite on the immediate horizon, as far as that goes.  Some of the bigger projects will work themselves out in the next few months.  Or rather, I have to finish them, and they will be a thing of the past, after which I might be able to steer myself toward a more manageable workload.  The immediate forecast is bleak, and there is so much pressure, beyond that which I place upon myself.  I am famous for demanding great expectations of myself, so this present workload predicament is taking its toll.  Blah, blah, blah.  I am so weary of complaints.  My own.  My kids’.  Anybody’s.  I have almost no threshold remaining.  I’ve been uncharacteristically irritable, off and on.  Weary.  I know that if I could somehow get enough rest, I’d be FINE.

Almost 29 years of indentured servitude, little to no sunlight, and countless hours of commuting are taking their toll...

Anyway.  I’m not one for pomp and circumstance.  I don’t want a party, and GOD FORBID, a surprise party.  I don’t want to be the center of attention.  I don’t want lavish gifts.  I don’t know what I want for that day.  The kids have visitation with their dad that weekend, and they are oblivious to life events, milestones, and things of that nature.  I suppose that’s my fault, since I haven’t actually taught them to be aware of such things.  I wouldn’t mind doing something special with my sisters, but we are out of time for planning any sort of get together.  Logistics again.  The sweetest thing I can imagine is having a nice meal with my loved ones.  And so it is settled.  My friend will prepare a lovely meal, and we will hang out as a sweet circle of three –my friend, my honey,and I–for the evening, in the comfort of my home.  Simple.  Sweet.  Perfect.  That is all I want.  Bliss.

I hope the 50s are the new 40s, because the 40s were mostly all right...

And as for turning fifty?  I am having a hard time wrapping my head around that number.  It seems like it’s a number that represents something that I just can’t quite put my finger on.   Age?  As if I was supposed to have accomplished something remarkable by now?  Or I should be at some other, more arrived, state of self by now?  Shouldn’t I have life figured out by now?  Shouldn’t I know how to handle stress?  Shouldn’t I know how to manage my children?  Shouldn’t I be cool, calm, and collected?  Well, externally I am all of those.  Internally?  I’m cool, I suppose.  Or maybe tepid.  I’m calm.  I’m collected in a scattered way.  I’m just weary.  Worn.  I went through my list of Facebook friends and pared it down to mostly family.  I could have just shut it completely down, but I do like seeing pictures of my family.  I am actually pleasantly surprised at the feeling of liberation that this small task accomplished.  Inability to keep up with the news feed has been frustrating, and I don’t need any additional source of frustration in my life.

I don't think I wanna be FIFTY. I'm not ready for this!

What would I have imagined for myself by this stage of life?  Happily married?  Kids healthy, grown, and making their own way in life?  Comfortably situated in some career?  Maybe those are all just projections from my early adulthood.  Time has marched on and things are as they are.  My life is not all those things, but my life is beautiful!

Looks like trouble! I still have some oomph left in me...

I don’t feel as though I’m emotionally ready to be fifty.  I feel as though I am only just now getting my momentum, only just now settling in to simply living.  I feel as though I’m only just now getting started in life.  I suppose that realization brings with it a little bit of panic.  Fifty years have gone by and I surely don’t have fifty years left.  I want to be able to live joyfully, to let all unpleasant things slide from me, never taking hold.  I don’t want to allow negative thoughts to crowd my mind.  I want to be comfortable in my skin and in my mind.  I am a rock, standing firm on the ocean shore, while waves crash around me.  They can’t hurt me.  I stand solidly, and let them fall at my feet.  I feel them and I let them go.  I breathe in.  I breathe out.  I keep on loving.  And so I live.

Wrinkles are emerging, but at least they are the smiley happy eye wrinkles...

I have this set of selfies in a photo album called “Fifty Shades of… …Sue” that I’m planning to post on my FB wall next Saturday. My suck it fifty declaration. My sense of humor isn’t always evident, but these are the thoughts that have been milling about in my mind in the past weeks and days while I’ve taken those pictures. All this anxiety. So to offset that, a collection of serendipitously lovely images. Hey, there’s another pretty one. Let’s post that. Really, then, it’s an unveiled invitation for others to say, my goodness, you don’t look anywhere near FIFTY! I have no shame.

January 12th, 2015 | 1 Comment »

I’m tired, I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I’m feeling worn today.  As though the myriad fragments of thoughts of recent sorrows and former sorrows are all pooling together and finding their way to the surface, wanting to break through.  I’m feeling like a meltdown is pending.  Or else in progress.

I know that I’m tired, physically, and that a good long sleep would likely make these feelings go away.  Maybe they’re not so large at all, and would be nothing, if I could rest some more and let them drift off to a safe and peaceful place where they can feed my wisdom, but not hurt my heart.

So many of us are working through such struggles.  Some of monumental proportion. Some, not so much, but in their own estimation, they are monumental.  The struggle exists for us all.  Add to that the burden of misperceptions and misunderstandings.  All these unnecessary emotional struggles!

I think about the role I’ve played in other people’s lives.  The things I’ve done to give a helping hand.  Small things.  Big things.  In some ways and at some times it’s been sort of like helping a child learn to swing or ride a bike.  I give them a push, get them started, explain how to pump the legs or pedal the bike, so that they can go forth on their own.  Sometimes a push is all that’s needed.  And sometimes the push does little at all.  If they just move forward on the original momentum without adding their own force of pumping or peddling, whichever the case may be, inertia eventually wins and all things come to a stop.  In real life, with my own kids, in the same example of trying to teach them to swing or ride, I find myself frustrated when they give up and don’t try to propel themselves.  They want the easy road.  Mama, keep pushing!  But I don’t want to push any more.  I want them to learn and become self-sufficient.

In the adult world, I guess the wise thing to do is acknowledge that when another has allowed inertia to set them back to where they were, the consequential struggle isn’t my responsibility or my concern.  It would also be wise not to conclude that my efforts were ever wasted.  I shouldn’t rue the choices I’ve made, because always, in some manner, something positive and good comes.  Even if it doesn’t look like it, or seem possible.   Always it does.  Always.

It’s hard to watch the struggle.  I don’t know why so many people don’t believe in themselves.  What is there that can’t be done?  So much can be accomplished if one just tries.  Maybe we don’t know where to start, or how to start, but if we just try, we can get somewhere.  Maybe it’s not the right direction.  Then adjust.  And maybe that’s not quite right.  Adjust again.  Just keep on.  Almost anything is possible.

Of course, this only pertains to the struggle of managing our own lives in the realm of things that can be controlled.  It has nothing to do with the struggle of coping with things that are dumped on us from who knows where for who knows why.  Like cancer.  Or mental illness.  It’s an unfair battle.  The only thing I can see there is to do, for those who are caught in this kind of struggle, is to fight, and keep on fighting.  My heart aches and weeps for the unfair battles like these that people are thrown into.

I’m struggling with my own job of single parenting.  Wanting to nip things in the bud, and not knowing how to.  Wanting to impart harmony and peace, cooperation and consideration.  Not knowing how.

I’m struggling with my own sense of self.  I know who I am, but I wonder if anybody else does.  I spill out pages upon pages of words that describe my emotional being.  I have this cloud of emotion I’m swimming in right now, and I can’t fathom anybody else being able to understand it, and therefore understand me.  And that adds a sense of loneliness to the whole mix.  But why would it even matter if anybody understood what I feel and why?  This is just a part of me.  It’s my own journey.  It’s mine.  Why would a sense of loneliness even surface?  By definition it’s supposed to be singular.  Because it’s just me, and I am only one.  And that, by extension, makes me wonder how togetherness is possible, when it’s almost impossible to completely understand one another.  Maybe that’s the crux of it.  I want to understand (everyone, everything).  And I want to be understood.  It seems that I want the impossible, therefore the crushing awareness that what I want I can’t have.

I don’t know.  I’m blathering on about I don’t know what.  Today is my departed brother’s birthday.  Probably that has much to do with what I’m thinking and feeling.  He would be 44 today.  I miss him.

And I’m tired.

September 29th, 2014 | 1 Comment »

I’ve written about ripples before, how one thing impacts another and waves move ever outward, the whispering breath of my spirit carried out into the world, brushing gently against all in its path.  A kiss on the horizon that finds its way back to me.

There is a song that moves my heart.  When I hear it, the strains fill me, move me, cover me, and touch my very soul.  Everything about it speaks to me, as though it was written just for me.  Not long ago, I mentioned this song in conversation, and remarked that it’s one of my favorites.  It comes up on my Pandora mix every once in a while, and it almost always makes me cry.  It just takes me to that place.  The other day, a friend shared this very song on Facebook, especially for me.  That ripple had made its way back to me.

Late at night, after the kids had gone to sleep, I sat cradled in the hammock swing on my porch, breathed in the crisp autumn air, and listened.  Over and again, I played that song.  Tears fell.  I went inside the music, and sobbed, from the very core of me, releasing my self from myself.  I thought about my life, and who I am.  I thought about what I want.  I thought about love, what it is, and where it comes from.  I thought about my place in this earth, the mother I am, the life I lead, the responsibilities I shoulder.  All the while, the music played, and tears rolled down my face.

I sobbed my heart out, and decided that it really doesn’t matter if the man who fits ever appears, because I’m beautiful through and through, in my heart of hearts where beauty matters.  In that place, I am pure and innocent, and in that place I am love.  It’s not about all the men who have gone before.  It’s not about anything but me.  In that place, I see my self.  I see someone who is worthy of my love.  I stood naked in front of my mirror, while the music played.  I touched myself.  I moved my hands all over my body, slowly, looking at the curves and the shadows, looking through unveiled eyes at something beautiful, as tears rolled down.

I must have listened to that song thirty times or more.  I cried my heart out, and touched myself, looked at myself with respect and regard, all the while loving myself.  I know who I am.  I saw myself, maybe for the first time, for the beautiful woman that I am.  I saw myself, perhaps, as those who love me see me.

A small spark flickered inside of me; a glimmer of life reborn.  Tears streamed down my face and I knew.

when oceans rise

I am healing.  I can heal.

Lead me where my trust is without borders.

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.

I will call upon your name.

Keep my eyes above the waves.

My soul will rest in your embrace.

I am yours and you are mine.

When oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace.

Fifteen, twenty, twenty five years, or more –scars from so very long ago.  I am healing.  God is speaking to me in ways that most people wouldn’t understand, in ripples and waves that make their way back to me.  I see where I am, and where I am going.  It likely won’t make sense to anybody but me, but it doesn’t have to.  This is my journey.  I am going to walk down this healing path for a while.

I am not afraid.

I am not alone.