Thursday, December 27, 2007

Post Christmas Thoughts




JOURNALING

I had an epiphany of sorts during my alone time over the Christmas holiday.
I was thinking about all the years I have kept journals. Thirty-two years worth of words. One evening I visualized all of those old hardbound journals piled one upon the other. With the various covering designs, a huge colorful pile it would be.

As I sat contemplating all the words I have written chronicling the moments in my life, I wondered if it was worth it. All of those thin hardbound books were filled with so much. Quotations, titles of books I had read, authors names I didn't want to forget, conversations that I felt were worth remembering, lists of wants wishes and desires, and memories, so very many memories. Years of words used to dig away at my wounds trying to understand, trying to find my way to healing.

In revisiting those years and years of words written by me, I came to understood several things. It took me decades to accept all the pain I felt, and, oh how I used to chafe at the amount of time I thought it was taking to feel whole and wise. But it does take time, it does take years, it never stops. I don't feel any wiser, I wonder if I ever will. Each new day is a learning experience. Each emotion, each thought process examined is all part of the journey to the woman I hope to be on my deathbed. Knowing myself, I also realize that even if I live to be 95 I will not be satisfied with that woman. I will always be trying to become a better me.

My next little epiphany of thought was on blogging, one that has rested briefly in my brain and then flown away countless times. In the past few years I have thought this medium of journaling is an easier way to grow further faster. A somewhat easier way to understand ourselves and others than a purely private journal. The very publicness of it encourages growth. 'Tis a rare blogger that doesn't read other blogs. As we read others we realize we are not alone. The details may be different, but the emotions are so very similar. An email I recently received pointed that out to me once again. A very nice young woman stumbled across my blog and was kind enough to write to me about the entry she read. One of her statements truly explains it all. "Reading your blog just affirmed that I am not alone--despite the many times I have felt that I was." All of our life experiences are varied, we humans have a wide variety of ways of dealing with our outer world, and our inner selves, many of us keep plugging away, trying to learn to accept ourselves as we were, as we are. Attempting to learn from our pasts, the mistakes and successes. In that process of finding self-acceptance and growth we often seek affirmations that all the trying is paying off, that we are getting there. Blogging--writing and reading them--can sometimes help guide us down our various paths.

My final thoughts about my years of journaling revolved around how I process the information I glean. I am an emotional being, all of my perceptions are colored by my emotional states. At this time of year, emotionally, I am usually ready to allow most of my thoughts to lie fallow for awhile. It is a time for rumination, and even deeper introspection without always searching for answers. As the winter moves toward spring these thoughts, these emotional messages, will begin to sink their roots down deeper. Then I will be ready to open up to them once again willing to let new messages of personal growth blossom forth within me.







SOCKS


I watched the movie Peaceful Warrior not long ago.

Several of my own personal beliefs were replicated in the film, philosophical statements that resonate within me, ideas that have helped define the way I have been attempting to live my life since 1998 [the year of my first real awakening to how I was not living my life...funny I just realized...'twas almost a decade ago].

"Take out the trash...", was one of the most important lines from the film for me at this time of my life; change doesn't occur until we get rid of the trash inside our minds. All of our self-imposed limitations hold us back from being whole, from loving fully, from finding and exploring our passions, from living fully here and now.

A set of 13 Quotes from the film:

1. Paradox: Life is a mystery; don't bother figuring it out.

2. Humour: No matter what circumstances, do not lose your sense of humour.

3. Change: Do not be so sure in life; anything can change.

4. There is never nothing going on.

5. This moment: The past and the future do not matter; all that matters is now, this moment.

6. It's not the destination that brings happiness, but the journey.

7. The ones hardest to love are the ones who need it the most.

8. Take out the trash from what's inside your head.

9. Empty your mind.

10. Anger, hatred, and violence are only products of fear.

11. People are afraid of what's inside of them; when you are alone lying on your bed, do you feel empty?

12. If you loan someone $20 and they don't come back, it was probably worth it.

13. When making a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich, you must first apply the peanut butter.



I have been tortoisely slow in my transformation, but I think I am finally getting there. In 1998 a dear friend quoted John Lennon to me over and over again, until I got it. "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. " Since that time...I have continually tried to retrain myself to...Live Now...Experience Now.

Another concept I have worked rather diligently on in the past few years has been not allowing the little things to become huge frustrations. It is a rare day when I am frustrated by things which are just not important in the grand scheme of things.

Two frustrations from the past that stand out now in my memory, even then had me asking myself, "How important is this?"

Both little frustrations have to do with each of my children and socks. Each had little quirks that it took me a long time to 'get'.

The first has to do with Mr. Son, as a young toddler he had a problem with wearing socks, and I just didn't get it. When dressing him, his shoes and socks were the last things to go on before leaving the house. I am not a shoe wearer, thus when indoors my children seldom had them on until time to leave. From the time Mr. Son was a year old, I would sit him on the second step from the bottom on the stairs, slip his socks on, then his shoes. Each and every time he would fuss, he would wiggle his feet, wanting them off. I couldn't understand why. I would loosen the ties on his shoes and retie them, I would take his shoes off smooth out his socks and slip his shoes back on. Over and over he would continually put up a fuss. I would become irritated and impatient as we would usually be running late by the time I could get him to stop fussing and out the door. This went on for quite a while, until one day when I was in more of a hurry than usual. It happened. His socks had been washed inside out, and for some reason I hadn't reversed them before folding them together. Being short on time I didn't bother turning the socks right side out, I just slipped his socks on, then his shoes. And waited for the wiggling feet, the tugging off of the shoes, or the complaints to begin. They didn't. He was fine. His feet were fine. What was different? What made this time different? The toe seams. These little seams bothered his toes, he didn't like the feel of it. Simple. All of that frustration, a continual battle fought, over something so simple to adjust to. He still wears his socks wrong side out. Does this matter, did it matter then. Nope.

Miss Daughter had an entirely different thing about socks. I would dress her head to toe in her perfectly color matched adorable "little girl" outfits, down to matching socks. When it was time to leave the house I would ask her to bring Mommy her shoes and socks, off she would go, returning with her socks and shoes, but rarely would it be the socks I had laid out for her. The socks were invariably two different colors. Most often, I would become frustrated, run up to her bedroom to retrieve the original ones (I have a weird quirk...socks should match the pants). She would become disgruntled and pouty when I did this. I couldn't understand why. I would become more frustrated as once again it became difficult to just walk out the door on time. Until one day when we were running late to pick her brother up from preschool, I didn't bother with matching socks. And, she was happy. And eventually I finally got it. She didn't want her socks to be the same color. She was perfectly happy as long as they were two different color socks. Once again I had to ask myself, "Why is it so important to me that her socks match? Does it matter that much?" Nope. Know what? 'Tis still a rare day when she has on socks that match. Today one was yellow, the other orange.


To paraphrase all this blather, most of the little things that seem so important to us, just aren't that important, they don't matter. Change doesn't occur until we get rid of the trash inside our minds. All of our "trash" holds us back from being...here...now.








UNDEFINED


A someone, who is very dear to me, aided me in getting through this Christmas holiday. The memories of our all too brief time spent together were a counterbalance to any sadness I felt over the enormity of how different this Christmas was compared to those of my past. He is more than just a friend to me. I am unable and perhaps unwilling to define what we are to each other. I know I feel love for him, there is respect, admiration, and a delicious physicalness too. I don't feel the need to place a definition upon the relationship, it just is. It's a now thing...that is enough.

He has mentioned to me several times that he believes the right people enter our lives at the time we need them most. A viewpoint I agree with. But I also think we have to be open to that possibility, we have to be ready. There have been times in my life when someone entered it, and I pushed them away, because I was unable to allow them in, I was too deeply hidden inside my shell of fear and self-protection. I think I lost the chance to have several good friends of the heart because of that shell. Lucky for me, I am more open, more willing to let other souls touch mine now. I know my soul fabric can hold many stars, and he has become a sparkling healing star, a welcome star.






HUH?


I knew that parenting Miss Daughter during a divorce would be very difficult. In some ways when I compare one year ago to today, I can clearly see it is not as bad as it could be. But, there are moments when I have no idea what I am doing. Sometimes she does things in such an "out there" blatant way I have difficulty believing she is as intelligent and full of common sense as I usually think she is.

A few minutes ago, I went to the cupboard to see if I had any wine left. The bottle of vodka and the bottle of rum are gone. Simply gone. I have to admit, I used to steal my parents alcoholic beverages, but I didn't take the entire bottle, I watered them down, (still not smart...but really... taking the whole bottle?). Did she honestly think I wouldn't notice? I wouldn't care? She hasn't realized it yet, but her car keys are now in my pocket.

Then there is...she becomes angry with me when she is out of gas money? How is that my fault?

2 comments:

S'mee said...

Another thought provoking post Sunny. One thing for sure, 2008 is not going to be dull. Take care and a special SUH.

Sixdegrees said...

I share your habit of journaling. I have had a private journal record for the past 27 years - a chronicle of my life through two graduate schools and a postdoc, becoming a husband and a father and building a career as an academic scientist.

I started my own blog as an outgrowth of my written journal - in part as a practical manner, since as I type much more often then I write, my handwriting - never very good - has degenerated to an uneven scrawl. In part, because I never seemed to find time to write in longhand because I was always on my computer anyway. And, in part, because I found that my thought processes were different when I typed rather than wrote out long-hand. But I do miss my handwritten journals - and have not abandoned them altogether. Reading through the back issues, as it were, is a good way to anchor myself in the present. A reminder of where I have been that also gives me guidance on my future direction.

Thank you for sharing your journal!