Category: Fairy Tale Thoughts

All Grown Up I Can Now Be Myself

A long time ago my mother told me that no matter how old we are, we still feel the same on the inside – we feel like ourselves. That makes sense, at the core we are who we are.

Not sure we always notice the “Myself” in ourselves because we are busy navigating our day-to-day, immersed in whatever we are doing, who we are with, what’s happening on our own particular path and that’s our focus. For years and years.

But what if we change? I mean really change. Like “Myself” is not who you think I am, or even who I think I am.

I was sitting in church the other day – something I don’t usually do. I was forced to go every Sunday growing up, and it didn’t feel right to “Myself.” But since Sir Husband does multimedia communications for the Harvard Memorial Church now, I go when he’s covering a special event. It’s kind of like going to the theater. This church is the pulse-center of Harvard U, where big things take place – from Commencement or famous speakers or concerts to High Church holidays during the academic year. Neither of us are religioulsy-affiliated but subscribe to spiritual wisdom.

I sat there for the event and thought about when I was sitting in church as a little girl. I hated it and hated my parents for demanding I participate. I didn’t “feel” it, it didn’t seem right to me and I didn’t appreciate their disregard of “Myself.”

But this particular day, my past tapped me on the shoulder differently, like it does when we least expect it. I felt like a grown up. I had decided to go to church that day for my own reasons – to see the special event, to sit in what the Memorial Church calls Harvard’s “Space of Grace,” a safe place with an astounding history and a magnitude that spans brilliance and imagination, beauty, hope and possibility. Wisdom defines Harvard. And although I was never a student there, when I go, I feel like Myself. Not the struggling little girl who flailed through a lifetime of hard knocks, chaos, roadblocks and dysfunction.

Our experiences leave deep imprints, some good, some not so good. I spent the last decade trying to not be Myself. To unlearn what I learned growing up and reintroduce myself to Myself. And in pivotal moments, there she is. The birth of my children…unconditional love with Sir Husband after our childhood close friendship…finally moving home after a whirlwind eight moves. And sometimes it’s simply an everyday moment that seems pivotal.

That place inside my mother was talking about – the ‘feeling like myself’ place? Sure. No matter how old we are we feel like ourselves. But things change – circumstances, hopes, dreams – and it doesn’t require being in church to notice who we are. We just have to pay attention.

It may have taken me a few decades to learn all I really ever have to do is be Myself. But it’s definitely worth the effort.

 

 

Fairy Wisdom

It’s amazing when we step away from our daily routine into a new space, how our perspectives can change.
We see things and people and ourselves differently. And sometimes it isn’t pretty. But it also provides an opportunity to learn and grow. Removing ourselves from complacency is not only refreshing, it’s enlightening.
We are different. The world is different. Life is different.

Bad News Does People No Good

The news makes me so sad. The state of the world, the way people see it and think about it and react to it – it’s hard. Perhaps it’s no different than any other time in history, we have learned about the chaos humans create…and endure. Chaotic times go back as far back as history remembers.

But it’s hard to fight for the calmness we humans so desperately seek when we’re surrounded by a deep unhappiness that spreads like a contagious virus.

I woke up to the news of United Airlines hurting a Chinese doctor because he would not give up his seat due to airline overbooking. He is an old man who just wanted to go home, but instead was sorely mistreated by airline employees. Ugh, horrible.

Or the story about children in several states being publicly shamed in school because they could not afford to buy lunch. Worse – denied lunch when the visible stamps on their hands say “I need lunch money.” And these children walk not just through a lunch line, but throughout their day in school, every day, stigmatized, humiliated and hungry.

So incredibly sad. And as we know, that’s not the half of it nor the worst stories “out there.” Some are too terrible to even absorb.

These are humans. People. Living, breathing, loving, and losing – people. The human race is losing. But haven’t we always? History seems to think so.

It’s easy to blame. We have a crippled democracy now, governed by a few who think it’s ok to hurt people and seemingly by no accident instill that mindset to ignite their cause. But it’s more than that. It’s the whole planet, all the way down to my street.

We live in an urban setting but ironically surrounded by nature that we see every day. Not just the usual squirrels or birds, but deer, coyote and wild turkeys. Recently traffic was stopped on my street because a large flock of turkeys was crossing the road – big, beautiful, slow turkeys.

One man continued to try to swerve his car around the long line of stopped traffic, honking, yelling out his window, flailing his arms and cursing at those of us who tried to point out that we were stopped for what looked and seemed so beautiful, so peaceful – creatures simply living their lives without concern about the turbulent world around them – but with great concern for each other.

You could see the bigger ones rallying the smaller ones, helping them cross the street. It was a Make Way for Ducklings moment right before our eyes. But the enraged man certainly couldn’t appreciate it. I think he would have run them over if he could. Sad.

I’m not sure what causes people to be so hateful. Whether we are optimistic or pessimistic, kind or cruel, observation over time shows we are who we are and that’s who we put out into the world.

There is beauty out there, sometimes it’s just really hard to see.

 

 

I Can Do A Happy Dance Especially In My Yoga Pants

I will come up with any reason in the world to wear yoga pants. Why? Not just because I love doing yoga – it’s great for the body and the mind – but because I love the pants. They’re soft, stretchy and even stylish, they feel good against my skin, and bonus – no undies needed. Nobody really wants panty lines. (No judging please.)

I have eight pairs (yikes!) all black and boot cut, comfy cotton/spandex blends, and I wear them with everything from boots with heels to clogs to flip flops. They’re fashion-forward, you can dress them up or down – in fact they’re making yoga dress pants now and even yoga jeans. Throw on anything from a tunic to a tee, a seasonal sweater if need-be, and you’ve got a winner outfit year-round.

Which got me thinking.

If yoga pants make me so happy every time I put them on, is what we wear – or what we feel good wearing – driving our overall happiness factor? Because so many people (myself included) walk around finding all kinds of reasons to be unhappy. All kinds of reasons. But seemingly…without reason.

Have you noticed that?

People get so comfortable in their unhappiness that they actually think they’re happy, but don’t know why they’re not. Yea read that again.

Then examine your own loop. We’re happy one minute for whatever reason – we love what we’re wearing or eating or watching – then the next minute something trips us up – the electric bill arrives, the internet blips out, the cat puked, or somebody in our orbit projects their own unhappiness into our airspace. Boom, happiness balloon deflated.

I only recently noticed this – or maybe I just ignored it – because it’s really easy to slip along the path of negativity. We always find reasons to be miserable in the moment some discomfort comes along. Then if we don’t catch ourselves and remember that overall life is actually really good (and yes, this may take some remembering as we ebb and flow through our day,) we might forget to be happy.

It happens, a lot. And ironically happiness the one thing everybody most wants in the world. I guess we forgot that too. I just heard the coolest thing in an online life-changing class taught by a guy who is seasoned in joy. He said we are wired to win – our default settings are perfect health, super abundance and yes, bliss. As in, we already have the winning lottery ticket, we just don’t really know it.

But I do, every time I put on my yoga pants.

 

 

 

For Millennials, Mom Doesn’t Always Know Best

Seriously, high school kids don’t wear coats anymore? It’s winter in the northeast, there’s snow everywhere, it’s cold… but I have yet to get my almost-17-year old in any coat, let alone a winter one. Makes me crazy.

He’s not the only one, I don’t see any of them wearing coats when I drop him off at school every morning. That’s the other thing. He goes to public school but our town doesn’t have busses for high-school kids. They have shuttles – busses for middle schoolers that will shuttle any high schoolers to the high school as a last resort. He won’t ride with the youngsters. Not to mention it costs $500.

No coat, no bus.

He wants to fit in, not stand out, not ride the bus with babies. I get that. But I don’t get the stubbornness. He’s my third and by far the most resistant to anything I suggest, say, advise or even insist. He simply won’t comply.

Not sure I can blame this on the millennial m.o., although this fits into the selfish stereotype. But I don’t see it as selfish, ego-centric or even lazy. It’s about this generation’s ability to make choices that they feel are best for them and be solid in that. They walk their own path and they stick to it, because they have the will, and the courage. They don’t let other people tell them what’s best for them. I can totally appreciate that.

Minus the condescending, not-so-nice, teenage bad attitude of course. Empty nest is just around the corner and is looking pretty good.

Maybe I’m just inexperienced in the ability to stand tall in my own resolute identity. I’d love to be able to do that without any guilt or lingering trepidation. I grew up differently. I had to do what I was told or the consequences would be painful. The innate hesitation therefore, is real for me.

In fact I’m still hemming and hawing about a story I recently submitted. It was a tough assignment, long, involved and I had to follow a complicated outline. I do better when I can write without explicit restrictions – you know – walk my own creative path.

Sure everybody has to follow rules, but the politics of working well and playing nice with others can be a little tiring. He said…she said…do it this way…that way…no my way… Honestly, I was not only a little grumpy, I was sad when all was said and done because the powers that be didn’t seem happy with the story. Yet I complied and worked hard.

But do you think my son (and I’m guessing his comrades,) are sad when they don’t comply, even if it seems sensible? I doubt it. Maybe he’ll grow out of it, although his older brothers didn’t. They lost the b.s. teenage attitude, and they do ask for advice, but they still do what they want in the end. Even if it doesn’t make sense…to me.

Imagine the freedom living like that. Although I’ll still be wearing my coat.

 

Locking Down Our Destiny Is Pretty Hard To Do

Do you ever wonder what on earth you are doing here at this particular point in time? Are we here to evolve our souls or make an impact, or do we just live for a while then turn to dust? Because however you look at it, we are here now, making and breaking history.

The movie Slum Dog Millionaire (love it) tries answer that with a multiple choice question ~ “Jamal Malik is one question away from winning 20 Million Rupees. How did he do it?”  A. He cheated  B. He’s lucky  C. He’s a genius  D. It is written.

I’m an answer D’er. We have our own destiny, it’s already written and we’re here to fulfill it. The bigger question is, what is it? For some it’s obvious, for the rest of us, not so much.

Until this year I never really questioned my place and time in history, I was always just happy to be an American at a time that life in our first-world country was pretty okay. So I just went about my business trying to fulfill my unknown-but-written destiny.

Turns out our path to destiny comes with challenges we have try to work through, hopefully learning as we go. Doesn’t matter what they are – health, job, people, life – I was feeling pretty happy recently to have finally overcome (or so I thought,) years and years of rollercoaster challenges, thereby rocking my destiny.

Then things started getting tricky. Trump tricky. And all of a sudden some of those challenges I thought I was done with – bullies, narcissists, abusers, sociopaths, dangerous, angry humans – is happening on a massive, grandiose scale beyond what most people really imagined. Doesn’t matter what side you’re on, historical chaos ensues.

So the other day when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed by the state of national affairs, I asked myself, any idea why you are here at this particular point and time? Was this written? Did you pick this time to exist to experience this? Or are you just lucky? Because some might say experiencing hardship is good for the soul. Think about Moses and the Israelites. Or slaves. Or Jews in Nazi Germany. Syrian refugees. Was that good for them? Did they meet their destinies or their fates?

And now why, all of a sudden, do I feel like I need to re-examine my own destiny more closely? To dig deeper and lock it down? I thought I already did that. But thanks to our lifetime’s history-in-the-making, I get the opportunity to keep on keeping on my own path of destiny discovery.

Maybe that’s the whole point. Whether we are here to evolve, make a known impact, or simply turn to dust, wouldn’t we really like to know what on earth we’re doing here? I guess I shouldn’t work so hard at it. After all, I’m pretty sure it’s already written.

 

 

The Ups And Downs of A Blogger’s Heart

Blogging is not for the faint of heart. Putting ourselves on the line for the whole world to read takes some bravery. Bloggers share some pretty intimate details of their lives, our deep thoughts, values, what makes us tick, the nitty-gritty of our heart and soul right from our hands, onto the keyboard, then in one click it’s all handed over to the ether – unprotected, visible and out there.

Sure, people do that every day, especially on social media, throwing their thoughts into their bubble of friends and followers where they will likely be supported. If not, it’s easy to just delete a post when things get uncomfortable. Not to mention it rolls away in a matter of hours, noticed but mostly forgotten.

But writing your life’s topic of the day, or week, or month, and sharing it on its own website to be read, scrutinized, examined, dissected, or worse – ignored – by the world at large? Yea it’s tough.

Then why do it? Well, why not at least try doing what we feel we are called to do? I have a good grip on my life’s purpose – writing – and I not only love it, I do it, even when it goes unnoticed or not many people like it…see it…or read it.

Truth be told, I’m pretty let down by my blogging dream. Nobody really gives a sh*t about much more than the election and state of the nation now. I get that. Every single time I open Facebook it’s nothing but sickening information from that growing disaster.

And I care about how things make me feel.

So I try to listen to my gut, follow my instincts, and like most writers, question everything and then wonder why.

I had a dream.  Blah blah blah. Scroll back a few hundred posts and you can read all about it, every post offers a nugget of heartfelt wisdom. After all, my soul’s purpose is on the line.

But much like speaker-outers, protestors, commenters, and yes bloggers, in the spirit of never, ever, ever giving up, especially on our dreams, why negatively confirm that my blog feels a bit like a fizzled failure. When feedback is minimal and it seems like what I’m saying doesn’t matter…well then what else can I do but let myself off the hook of defeat and carpe diem?

Tomorrow is another day.

 

Solitude or Social Life? Only Time Will Tell

A long time ago I loved my daily doses of solitude. By 8 a.m. all three boys were at school, and I reveled in the peace and quiet. Every stay-at-home or work-from-home mom knows that feeling. You can pee with the door open, eat in the living room, put family mayhem aside and do what you want. I don’t minimize the gratitude I have for that time. Solitude in small doses is so sweet.

But life evolves however it’s going to, with or without our input.

I had this big thing in my head when we moved home last summer about reconnecting with people – friends – from my past, as if they would welcome us with open arms and we would pick up where we left off.

But I forgot about one thing – time.

What a big surprise it was when I realized most of my peeps who were in my life here then – people I really cared about – are actually not in my life here now, although they still live in the exact same places. While I took a major road trip through four states and eight houses over 14 years, they just kept living their lives, while I was trying to survive mine.

I always knew I would get back here, and as much as my old stomping ground looks the same, it’s also completely different. Somewhere along the way my kids grew up and I lost my people. Time has a way of changing everything.

So I’m facing a solitude I really wasn’t expecting. And for a gal who thrives on a tightly-knit tribe, it feels a little too quiet. Although I am far from lonely. Being on the other side of extreme hardship, dreams coming true, marital bliss – it’s a wonderful place to be.

And since we’ve finally caught our breath and are savoring the simplicity of normalcy, Sir Husband and I realized we’re missing something important. A meaningful social life. We had some good times through the years, and yea, we miss our good friends.

It’s another adjustment, and while it comes with a range of emotions, adjusting is something I seem to do well. So just like when the kids were little, I am really enjoying the pause. Because I know without a doubt, it’s only a matter of time.

 

Coping With This Crazy World Takes Courage

I’m trying to ignore the world at large – as if that’s even possible. Sometimes a gal just needs to dive into her inner landscape and find a comfortable spot there, steering clear of external chaos. Honestly, I’m working hard at minding my own business, reaching for happy thoughts, figuring out how to jettison my fibromyalgia so I can get on with the daily task of living and enjoying life, but it’s not happening. Nowhere is safe, and “nowhere” is a pretty big territory.

Until now, chaos and drama lived behind my closed doors and I could escape it “outside.” Growing up it was the breathing life-force in the people around me, and I soaked up that thick air for far too long. It was out of my control as a child, then I stupidly married the very wrong man. When I wised up and corrected that giant error, I tripped into even more chaos with the love of my life’s ex, whose crippling horror was unmatched, until now. Thanks to a few million really naive voting people, the entire world is directly exposed to toxicity beyond measure with America’s new government. It almost feels like a sick, cruel joke-turned-worsening nightmare.

So how do you pay attention to the outside world and maintain your own sense of well-being?

It’s killing my journalist-husband – although he is sort-of out of the field, it’s in his blood because he feels like he’s been personally called-upon to help correct this huge political debacle, like our founding fathers.

But he can’t answer the question, plus he’s got a whopping case of PTSD from the chaos perpetuated by the contemptibles in our life. We’re both pretty tired. I literally just learned (after years of therapy, self-help books and a kick-ass shaman,) how to disengage from their debilitating chaos, and it feels better. Except not anymore, because everywhere we look/see/hear/listen in the real world is  c-r-a-z-y.

So how do you participate in life but disengage from it at the same time?

This is not one of the tools I acquired in my studies along the path to enlightenment. And I’m kind of desperate because we have a long road ahead of us if “we the people” can’t figure out a way to change the powers that be before our one indivisible nation isn’t shattered beyond recognition. Been there done that in my personal life, don’t really want to go through it anymore, and my shaman retired.

So that basically leaves one answer. No, not gratitude, although there’s value in everything and gratitude is key. I think the answer is courage. That’s it. Courage to rise to the occasion of life as one of my favorite gurus says. Courage to speak up, dream big, protect, love, lead, be creative. Do not be detained by the past, or afraid of the future. Courageously get on with the business of your life, despite the odds, and make plans to celebrate. 

Ok.

Really, Why All The Fear?

Fear-based living. Hate it! Every time I turn around there is some ridiculous, strange, scary, even unheard of thing being reported in the news or on my Facebook feed. People are dying, killed, missing, sick or will be – let’s face it, we’re all doomed.

I actually stopped watching the news and scrolling my social media feeds beyond what’s right at the top quite some time ago.

I don’t know if there are statistics out there on this but is it possible that the top of our feed has all that we need to see at any given moment? Like we see only what we are “supposed to” see for us and our lives? Or we flip TV channels and when we stop on one we see a commercial or news story that resonates with us – do you ever wonder if seeing that particular thing was “meant to be?”

And if not, how do we keep only what we need and discard the rest – especially in this new world of “fake news?”

everything-we-need

I popped on Facebook recently and the first post was that my town is on a local news magazine show for being a “super town,” where you get the most bang for your buck and quality of life – strong community, good schools, green space and urban slant. Great, that’s my home sweet super home. So I clicked the link to see the preview and in the sidebar were all these other stories:

Woman pleads guilty to raping two underage boys. (OY.)

Man kept stolen brain beneath porch, used it to get high, police say.  (REALLY?)

How you can buy a house for $1.00 in Milwaukee. (SURE.)

25-year-old dies while live-streaming on Facebook.  CLICKED IT.

They got me. I clicked one of the links and watched the two-minute video that did not show the actual death (thank goodness,) but told the story, leaving out the most important part. How she died. And get this – nobody went to check on her until 30 minutes after her live stream crashed!

I wondered if it was a fake story so of course I googled it, it wasn’t fake. I didn’t click any more, I closed my browser and felt kinda sick. I was sick anyway, my third round of some plague that keeps recycling in our family. This makes me pretty upset because I do all I can to stay healthy: self-care, yoga, meditation, eat right, take very expensive all-natural daily vitamins, I wash my hands constantly and Purell at every turn, especially during flu season. Why? I fear the plague. I don’t get a flu shot – it’s not one-size-fits-all (google it,) and until this year rarely got the “flu.” I am not even sure it’s the actual flu, or a reasonable facsimile. But I’ll check the top of my Facebook feed to find out.

Yep, we live in a world where fear rules and while I don’t want to, part of me resides there. I bet we all do and just don’t talk about it.

Seriously. She was 25! 

 

peace

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