Category Archives: Family and Friends

Adjusting Positively to Change

As time trickles seemingly more and more quickly through the lifeline hourglass, I find myself once again writing a catch-up post.

World events keep me alternately pressing my head, yoga style, into that hole in the ground, then rising, gasping with tear-filled eyes at the horrors I see played out around and to the globe we call home, tinted with the blood-stained, fear-driving scenarios of our future.

I subscribe to positive news feeds, to keep some semblance of balance – yet even these often confound me.  How are many man-made intrusions to Almighty’s design considered to be ‘good’?

With all of this,  I ground myself by thinking of NOW.  The people around me, strangers, next door neighbors, co-workers, friends and family – many of these who I consider the silent majority.  That portion of us who are living our lives to produce as much positive and kindness and simple self-rewards to sustain ourselves as the current convenience/industrial/regulation realm will allow.

Sure, there are outliers – those who spew hatred with their political name-calling, and those who prey on the weak, and those who regularly beat the war drums – and these are the fodder for headlines and blankets that skew the social networks.

But my day-to-day interactions are counter to this ugly racist/divisive/far-left/far-right social overlay that seems to define the majority.

I hope I’m correct – that the silent majority is as I believe, the good still there, the submissive and unspoken until awoken might that is truly indicative of humanity…

And on that note, I find myself awaiting from afar an increase to the positive – a new addition to the family!  A grandson will soon be born, a brother to the beautiful granddaughter who is now 3+.

Attuned to boys, having only raised sons, I am purely excited for this new arrival.  Another smattering of cells that were once part of me is to reside in a tiny new being – a mighty fine piece of new inheritance to survive me.  Praise Almighty!

A granddaughter and a grandson – these two little people are my hope for better, purer things in the future.  These two little beings that I don’t see but a fraction of what time I would prefer to spend with them – these assemblies of perfections and imperfections composed by their parents and all who came before them, these are the best things of life.

This Bubbe will not attend the birth or the first greeting due to a very recent job change, but count on me for a visit next weekend!

The recent job change was a surprise.  I knew I had overdone my time at my current position – but seemed resolved to continue to retirement, assuaging myself with the perks of bonuses and posh office space, flexible work schedules and rare public interactions.

Then I felt pushed too far, and the well-timed surprise recruiter contact regarding a new opportunity sent me back into the market.

I had my self-confidence restored with three job offers, from which I chose… a gardening service company!  Already, some of my physical ailments related to high stress are resolving.  The only true negative of the new position is the inability to take time off to attend the birth of my grandson.  But he won’t know that unless he’s looking back many years from now.

Until then, I’ll be working on providing him with positive examples.  🙂

 

Finding Harmony

How often in life do you find someone who hits all the notes?

Seriously.  I’m not talking about ringing your orgasmic bell in multiple positions, I’m talking about what makes up your whole being, the tune, the tremor, the composition, the key.  A human being whose orchestration is identical to your own.

There seems to be a lengthy pause.  A recollecting of the individual nuances and rhythms, the high notes and low notes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not one person is an absolutely perfect match.

There is going to be, somewhere, at some point in the melody, a disharmony.  A chord that doesn’t blend, a flat where there should be a sharp, an overlap of keys.

It’s no wonder that the cultural expectation of true love, the fairy-tale fed expectation of happily-ever-after, is an elusive composition most often ending in a separation.

As a finely tuned human, you are going to have your own melodies, your own rhythms.

You likely know that a Bach type will likely not mesh well with a Joan Jett type.  Similarly, the Celtic Bagpipes camp is going to be at odds with the Lil Wayne camp.

agony

Accordingly, you make your choice for companions, be it in friendship or partnering, by matching your ‘music’ as best you can.  Perhaps even finding someone who fits a two or three-part harmony on occasion.

Then, because life is simply not simple, there will be an unexpected change in tempo at some point, for you or the other party/parties, which changes the balance so much that the chords compete drastically with each other.

How do you handle that? 

It’s certainly not the same for every person, but I can tell you how My Love and I handled such a change:  by communicating.  Sure, that involved a few loud discussions.  It certainly involved a few tears.  I hate to admit this, but on one occasion, there were also flying objects.

heart felt trio

 

All of those communications created their own composition.  One separate from the rest, but one that told a story of us.  A story of understanding both sides of the tune, recognizing that the changed tempo actually got our attention and knocked the figurative stuck needle off the track and allowed us each to find new songs for ourselves.

Thankfully, it turns out those songs were in harmony.

Buckets Are Too Limiting

Dust in the wind, worm food – either way, my personal take on death is that I will know no more.  It will be the end of me, the last breath, the circle of life.  Last call…

It’s a heavy thought – to think that nothing follows, that there is just an end – but it suits me, suits my practical nature.

One of my sons once posted a thought, which I’ll paraphrase:  if a person is only good because they’re focused on divine reward, then that person is a piece of shit.  I don’t know if these were his own words, and I don’t know that he won a lot of praise or ‘likes’ for that.  But if you stop and think about it, it makes sense.

If only rules, or rules hedged about with some eternal reward system are keeping you from bouncing out of control and into a psychotic rage, or killing frenzy, then you’re simply a caged rabid animal.  Where is the realness, the human connection, the compassion?

If those pieces are missing, then you really are a piece of shit.  Like it or not, calloused though it may be, it’s the simple truth.

There are moments when I think people see me in similar light.  Cold.  Unreachable.  Distant.  Tightly strung.

The truth is that I feel so deeply, watch ever so intently and capture essences and nuances of meaning and feeling that often escape others.  It’s painful, it’s draining, and it makes me put on the tough skin of protection to keep it from shredding me into millions of little pieces.  Dust.  Pieces of dust that would so easily blow away, carried off to unknown places and spaces, away from me.

Another son stated when announcing a pregnancy that he and his wife were ‘growing a human’.

How aptly said.

A combination of their parts, their pieces, that attach little parts and pieces of the generations preceding them – a tiny piece of me – grew inside the womb.  Destined to be an infant, this little nugget emerged last November, a wonderful wriggling, wrinkled version of itself, a new growth on the family tree.

There are few people who fit ever so perfectly into my comfort zone.  My introverted self, my regulated and logical nature requires that I have plenty of space to call my own, and plenty of time to fill that space.  My sons and their spouses are included in those few (hubby’s a given, a keeper, the magnet holding me in my space) and it’s always such an easy-going and comfortable time when they come to visit.

But during a recent visit, there was this edge to me, this pressure behind my eyes, this feeling of tears that could burst forth at any given moment – a strange thing when I was so relaxed and so enjoying the company.

It took words penned by my dear friend for me to realize that it was pure joy ebbing and bubbling beneath my surface.  I was so powerfully moved by this new event, this new growth that it didn’t have a proper slot to fit into my logic, nothing prior to name this, to capture and label this emotion.

pail and leaves

My bucket flows over.

My list is now such a pittance, such a distraction from the wonder of seeing what comes next, what this fabulous little seed of a human brought with her emergence…

Bucket lists are too limiting.  What I want to see before I die, I cannot even begin to fathom.

But the end has suddenly changed course, because not only will parts of me continue through my son after I die, now there will be parts of me to last another generation.  That, my friends, that’s what’s real.

Is It Real…

Or is it Menopause?

It was a relief to discover that my red-eyed appearance was not an emotional symptom, but rather simply a case of dry eyes that I ignored to the point where my tissues were constantly inflamed.  Menopause symptom, likely, and easily addressed by adding Omega 3 and using re-wetting or artificial tear drops as needed.  As needed being more often than I remember to administer – but I’ll get there.  Thankfully, my constant red eyelids are now just an unpleasant memory.

Granted, I’ve been more likely to reach a silent overwhelm of emotion these days, particularly when I’m in the presence of my children.  It makes no sense to me, as these are some of the people with whom I draw the most comfort.

watered false nettle

I am rendered nearly speechless, unable to converse comfortably, or sensibly.  Some of it is attributed to tinnitus – there are only so many tones that I can focus on without losing part of what’s being heard.   Partly, it’s that I don’t want to miss a thing, so I nearly miss everything as I try to focus on every conversation at once.  Not as easy a fix – but I’ll be working to find my perfect hearing range so that I can focus to give full-on attention to the conversant in that range.

The part that I can’t change is that I’m full to the brim with love for these people, and am faced with a change in status, for which I have no practice.

watered dawn 2

Change is a constant in life, and I’ve done a damn fine job of handling change in the past (meaning that I didn’t go on a rampage, and I didn’t have a total meltdown).  Change during my earlier years was like drinking water.  I gulped it down and on to the next task I went.

About five years ago I noticed a shift, a grating of tectonic plates sort of shift.  Suddenly, I found myself irritable with too much change or too many compounded changes.  Sure, I could still function well, I could still move on to the next task, but my comfort zone had been impacted, and it unsettled me, irritated me.

Still in the irritable stage, change has been fairly constant, the compounded sort, but I’m functional.

watered daylight

A change in position not aptly prepared for – that sort of change is like a chasm that has opened up beneath me.  I’m not prepared for it, but accept that I must either embrace and learn to roll with it, or tumble along grasping recklessly at strongholds along the way.

Mother-in-law, Step-mother-in-law, Grandma, Step-Grandma – these titles, these changes to my position, have caught me off-guard in comparison with my own head-in-the-clouds, prior-concocted expectations.

Let me broadcast with great joy:  I have the absolute best of the pick when it comes to family.  Our sons were extremely easy to raise, and they chose very well when they chose their mates.  I have daughters-in-law whom I love dearly, and they are the perfect complement to our family.  Our grandchildren are a pure delight, and their parents are doing a great job raising these youngsters.

sunflower detail

My job should be easy, but I’m a perfectionist in the most annoying ways – obsessive about where my everyday use items are situated, persnickety about what I ingest, and particularly overly particular in creating my own expectations.

I want to match expectations that I set long ago.  I want to take bits and pieces from others I’ve observed in these positions and meld them into some fantasy figure, based on very little reality.  Who could possibly have factored in where I or my family would be in our lives when this particular stage of life arrived?

So I emote silly things based on my silly notions, and get myself all tizzy-frazzled for things that no one else can control.

Compound that with the fact that my mother-in-law died during my second year of marriage, creating a void where I could have learned a great deal.  My mentor is absent, that’s my excuse…

hewn

So I’m forging ahead in uncharted territory, with great hope that I won’t injure any relationships, step on anyone’s feelings, or cause any great distress; yet keep in mind my own emotional health and well-being.

Oh, and did I mention I’m menopausal?  😉

Thankful

A day on the US calendar, declared a day of thanks, gives me the day off from work and a good reason to use it to spend with family.

I love my family, so a day when all of us – or many of us – can be together, to visit, to share, to eat (it really does always revolve around the food, yes it does)… those are good days.  Those are days that I am extremely thankful for.

This year though, I’m taking the day off.  No big to-do, no organized meal, because truly this is not a prescribed Holy Day for me.  Not a day commanded by Almighty.  It’s a culturally inherited day, one which I have the ability to enjoy if I so choose, but one on which I would also gladly work if needed.

Hubby countered me the other day when I was describing a conversation I’d had with a co-worker about the days I “observe”.  In his mind, I observe Thanksgiving.  Simply because we often host family in our home on this National Day with all of the fixings.

Easily misunderstood.  It nearly does seem like our family tradition.

Thing is, it’s not.

Really.

Family tradition would mean that I would feel somewhat bereft in not following it  – amiss, and off-kilter, nearly guilty.

I don’t.

I’m extremely thankful that today will be a day I am not required to be at my workplace and a day that I can simply do whatever I feel like doing.

Turkey cooking?  Yes, in fact.  Hubby brought one home from work and I have the day off, so I’ll pop that bird in the oven sometime today.

But at my own pace, because I’m not on a scheduled tradition clock today.

🙂

 

Sober and Scribbled Pictures

I can’t really describe this funk that settled upon me since leaving the hospital.

Deflated.  Perhaps.

I relayed to My Love that I’d painted this perfect little picture of the moments I’d share with the new family and how those would feel.  But the reality is that reality happens.

Boom.

Pow.

Scribble, scribble.

Other people are living in the picture, and other needs and feelings and goings on are happening.

My picture got scribbled upon.  Oh poor, poor, pitiful me.

Yeah.  It’s like that.  I’m processing it, preparing to put the hurt aside, but I’m allowing the feelings to marinate just a bit first.  I’ll not share them, you see.  So before I tightly contain and seal them up, I need to feel them – that way they won’t fester and become some ugly wound.

We’re the family members who reside farthest, so I had it in my mind that we’d have a good portion of touch time before we parted.  But those who live close angled in for their firsts at the same time and mommy and daddy got a bit overwhelmed.  Time for everyone to go.

But those who live close will be able to resume quickly, where we’ll need to parcel out time and funds from our schedules and pocketbooks to make another run.

No blame there.  It just is what it is.  Reality.

Not what I’d had in mind, silly me.

So I’m oozing emotions today.

On the bright side of those funny little emotes, I saw the man who is my son stand tall and proud this past week.  I saw his capable hands change a diaper, saw his jaw set firm with concern for his wife’s well-being, and saw his compassion flesh out as a bright shining thing.  I saw his impatience as well, the niggling little allowance of we intruders.  He’s fully entered his own now, and that – that there – that makes this mom proud.

Painful as it may be.