Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The year of break through or be broken

I am okay with this not being my lucky year. The year of the horse is reminding me it is the year of break through or be broken.

Notice the energy? Feels different. Even as I increase the space between me and the news and the negative the eerie unsettling feeling washes over me.

I know we are swallowing more fear knowing it will sicken us.

I know we as a culture are letting our commitments be pushed aside by our complaints.

I feel like everyone around me is treading water in their lives in hopes of maintaining just enough air for another day. The mention of years in the distance instantly provokes tears. They all seem exhausted. I too am tired.

Just because this isn't a lucky year doesn't mean I haven't been blessed. Just because I am tired does't mean I am close to giving up.

I can either choose distance or connection. I can choose to break down the walls or build them up. I can choose to break through or be broken.

Submitting to becoming broken is a thought that enters my mind then I beat it out like a pest with a broom. Shoo! Be gone from my mind, don't tread on my heart, there is no space disease that weakens my mind, attempts to dilute my vision and lessen the value of my divine commitments.

I choose to break through.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Instead I Learned.

Instead of seeking happiness,
I have learned to seek understanding.

Instead of expecting the best,
I have learned to expect to grow.

Instead of inviting resentment,
I learned to nurture and speak my own needs.

Instead of accepting assumptions as truth,
I have learned to ask questions and receive reassurance and clarity.

Instead of accepting unfounded fears,
I have learned to be vulnerable and find freedom.

Instead of turning away,
I learned the power of turning towards.

Instead of looking for evidence we were growing apart,
I have learned that looking for ways to grow together creates passion.

Instead of counting the years,
I learned to appreciate and treasure every moment.

Today, I am thankful for the last seven years in marriage. Thankful for continued commitment, investment and confidence in our friendship. Thankful for my best friend and the love of my life, my husband Eli.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Being Right is Often Wrong

We grow up being praised for being right. The praise, the rewards and the glory of being right is often misdirected. There are those exceptional leaders that mention and attempt to facilitate the concept of being right but not at the expense of others. Did I hear that part correctly? Being right but not at the expense of others. That piece doesn't sink in unless I am actively paying attention, actively choosing to create a safe space and continually being committed to being present. 

Being right is often wrong. When I feel myself distancing myself from those who care for me and snuggling up to being righteous - I am wrong. Pulling out emotions and using them as ammunition to be right is a bit like picking up sand and stones from the ground in a nasty defensive and immature fit. 

Emotions are not facts. Every emotion I have ever had was twisted, pulled and pushed from various sources. The weather, my blood sugar, the comment I took personally that had nothing to do with me and all of the other things. The clutter in my mind makes my emotions unreliable as sources. 

Giving into being right and allowing being righteous to be who I am is investing in a pursuit that only leads to distance from those who care for me. There is no space for them, at least not a safe one. 

While I am not responsible for the feelings of others I am committed to my relationship with them. The unspoken covenant I should learn to share is that I commit to crafting a safe space, one where I will support them, listen with empathy and speak my needs without hesitation. It's a work in progress.

Cheers to a life that chooses connection over distance. Cheers to a life that chooses nurturing and love. Cheers to a life that doesn't seek out happiness but instead finds joy in growth together.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Manly Scrapbook of Sorts

I know I am not alone. Father's day, just like any other Hallmark day feels very commercial. Packed with marketing messaging, sales and isle end caps filled up with counter cluttering things for Dad. I can't help but shake the sentiment. Even if the intention behind it all is to sell cards and barbecues.

My Dad passed away in 2001. I eventually learned he was cremated and the remains distributed into a few small jars. Odd. I can only assume that because I was fifteen I wasn't "old" enough to add my opinion into the decision of my father's remains.

Sometimes I imagine the non-existent grave site. The grandiose gravestone, sometimes a statue. There would be a built in bouquet holder for flowers as well as overhead roof with lighting for all year long visiting hours. 

I even allow myself to dabble in day dreams crafting a colorful celebration of life. An outside ceremony led by a fluffy haired spiritual guide with a slick sense of humor. A handful of people that as they entered the space made a commitment to support one another from the moment they step into the ceremony until the moment they leave this earth. The stories that would paint my father Rick would exercise everyone's gut with hilarious recounts of the past. I might actually be disappointed if there wasn't an incrimination story. 

Rick Grimes and his infant daughter Lyndi aka me 
Today, as I let myself wander with my thoughts as I often do I thought of what I might do for my Dad's grave site. There might be times a bouquet of flowers could be fitting. Growing up our family ran a plant nursery. Selling hanging baskets, roses, annuals, veggie starts and other plants like evergreen shrubberies. Maybe for Christmas I would bring a miniature Christmas tree. Bring it home and plant it once the new year had begun. For his Birthday I would set out a cheap beer or two with a note reminding him to stop smoking, just to push his buttons. 

Today my silly thoughts rambled on about our newly purchase printer paper. I could print things! A picture of fried chicken, a scene from a big bug movie, an image of a Polaris four wheeler, a picture of STIHL's chainsaw stopping chain-link pants, a picture of Kelly, Arthur, my sister and Corvettes lineup in a row, of my brother's family, and other things like my one ton truck and how fat I have grown. I would make them into a book of mementos. A manly scrapbook of sorts. If I could get my hands on some cigarette ash I should rub that in to for good measure. Think of it like a charm bracelet for an old dead guy. 

If by chance his spirit happen to pass by, I am confident he would flip through the pages and laugh. Tickled I had created something rather than bought it, happy I still remembered the fun times and thankful I came by to visit. Then, our spirits would for a moment agree to wallow in the bittersweet sadness of being apart and appreciation we have a scrapbook of oddball memories to cherish.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Who Wants to Babysit Me?

Not hours, days or even weeks, after the car accident I had to be babysat for months. After each of the three surgeries I had to be babysat. The element of being babysat I often reflect on are those who were wiling and up to the task. 

A few were asked and compensated much like a traditional toddler babysitter. Others came of of the woodwork demanding they bring over a freshly cooked meal and watch me savor the bites as they massaged my feet. No joke.
"I don’t care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching they are your family." - Jim Butcher
I am spoiled I learned early that every decision I made either creates connection or distance. I must be approaching that 10,000 hour mark of practicing that lesson and making it a skill. Before long I may even be able to say I am a master of choosing between those roads. Next skill I hope to add to my life resume is becoming a master of repair.

While no one had to wipe my under carriage keeping me occupied and safe was part of the job description. For those who nurtured me back to where I am today, about a C+, I want to have a party. A HUGE one. This isn't a new idea, just one I am starting to mentally craft. Where, when, what will we eat? The point is to celebrate those who took the time to invest, encourage and support me.
"The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed."- Ernest Hemingway
The vision that is coming together is one that reminds everyone they are appreciated, gives them another piece of evidence they have a safe space and a community around them. I am thinking once I am a little buffer I will be up for being hostess, making a keynote and crafting a celebration to be remembered.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Choosing the Meaning of May 24th

Twelve months since the accident. Reflecting on May 24th, 2013 feels as clear as reflecting on yesterday.

The gift of time doesn't end the pain, however it does allow for processing and healing. Took me months to accept that gift.

Today is a new May 24th, with new opportunities, today is a privilege and I deeply thankful.

I didn't find out today was the 24th until just before our little family was about to head out for brunch. The moment I was told was the moment I finally saw an open door. I could choose what this day could represent beyond the anniversary of the auto collision. I could choose the flavor of morning, sharing bits of pancake with my two year old daughter. I could listen deeper and be more present with my husband. I could choose to be the patient, compassionate advocate for my family and myself that I want to be. I chose, I crafted and I completed a new memory and meaning for the day.

The next goal is to summon up some bravery. Today also marks a year since I have ridden my thoroughbred, Cody. I spent a good hour playing with both Cody and our Foxtrotter Finnegan. Played, at Liberty I let them self lunge in the paddock and I attempted to convince them to use their new Jolly Ball. They were both interested in my shenanigans. They both are masters of living in the present. They calmly showed me their tricks, curiously sniffed me or stood next to me contemplating the world. There is still so much more I can learn from those two. The bravery part comes in to saddle the horse up, walk up the mounting block steps and get on the back of that 1,200lb horse. Twelve months ago I wouldn't have batted an eye, today I find myself collecting reasons on why a simple ride around the paddock isn't a good idea. Summoning bravery to once again craft a new a new meaning for May 24th.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

No Golden Roads

There is was, the opportunity of her lifetime; a chance to give a little of the grace she has been given and she failed. 

As her blood boiled and the wheels of creatively began to turn. The crafting of retaliation distracted her and she forgot who she was talking to. In front of her was an opportunity that looked like one relationship but really it was another deep and swift blow to three. 

Her words like poison settled into an already weak foundation washing a little more of the sand beneath the stone. 

Are the years of evidence she gathered, tended to and coddled more valuable than the love she was never withheld? 

Was it more valuable than the place she could call home?

Could it be possible at any moment the lottery smiles upon her she would once again pack up, leave and blame the shambled hearts on anyone and everyone except her own actions? 

Yes. Sadly, yes. 

She survives bitter that she is addicted to her choices of suffering. 

No golden road of opportunity will lure her away from the pain she tends, coddles and keeps safe as evidence.  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Reduced to Black Sticks

Adding to the routine of driving out into the world I now take a brief look west. There in the distance is the structure that only a few days ago was a home for our neighbor's family. Only a few main beams remain standing, the rest were forcibly brought to the ground by the firefighter's attempt to manage the blaze. The fire licked the house raw and left only black sticks, adding another tortured skeleton on this family's memories.

Our little town is an electric mix of folks. Most tend to their own families with great care, most are friendly at the Post Office and are happy to strike up a casual conversation at the mailbox. This is a town with a love for the privacy and a deep appreciation for the peace of nature gives them. They all seem to agree that having distance from the rush is worth the extra commute time, yet I don't think the lack of fire hydrants is factored in. 

That is the friendly painting. The bright shiny colors I choose to paint our little area. The dark side, the sickness that we ignore is one that lingers in not just our town, but in our culture. We value minding our own business beyond the drama. If we are wondering why our culture has a hint of rot in the air, it's because we have forgotten the phase, "it takes a village" goes beyond raising kids. 

I maybe one of many thinking things need to change. That during good or bad we come together, celebrate, support and pour love into each other's cup until we are all drunk on life is great. Or maybe I am looking for a leader, someone to initiate the change and demonstrate the right words to say, how to organize and bring folks together regularly. Or, it could very well be that I am just another coward seeing an opportunity and choosing the nice paved road of non-sense to stay comfortable. 

I hope those black sticks haunt me. I hope they remind me every time I drive by I have work to do and opportunities to help others.