Tag Archives: perspective

Day 25: Fun!

FUN!
FUN!

I was going to write about Why I am Here, Part II, but again, life gets in the way! And that, my dear, is the point. Life is good. It doesn’t need to be categorized, analyzed or parlayed into anything else. It is right in front of you.

And right now, in front of me, we have  a father and daughter frolicking in a pool, a dog laying down after a good ‘ole day of playing with his doggie friends and going for an evening walk; and me, here typing to you, whatever the hell is going on in my head. But my hope is that I am able to convey not just “what is happening” but why it is important, amazing and good. Why my life is so amazing, because it is.

Am I just lucky, or have I come out of the dark and seen with new eyes?

Something to ask yourself too. Is your life not good, or are you not seeing what is good about you, about it. That is what happened to me. I was comparing my life to some superstar dream fantasy far away, and I could never live or be happy that way. Now, as I sit here, the music playing (“Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles), I dream a new dream: the dream of my life as it is now. Better than planned, appreciated beyond measure, and endlessly full of possibilities for tomorrow. No need to prolong.  Just say:

Yes, this day is enough for me! This is fun!

I am having fun. With you, with me, with everyone.

My husband, not knowing what I was writing about, just hollered from the pool:

“Hey, mommy, this is fun!”

Not kidding. There are no accidents, only appointments, she said.

This one is fun indeed.

Thank you.

Amen.

Day 23: Good Enough for Me!

Yes, it’s Wednesday and I haven’t written in 2 days. After publishing my “Daily Commitment Contract” the other day I set out to avoid everything on it ’til about 11pm.  It wasn’t that bad really, I had done my morning workout at least, and I did spend the entire night with my husband. It was all good. So why do we punish ourselves when we don’t make the grade?

I’m starting to pick up the mantra, “Good Enough!” If and when you ever get tired of beating yourself up (I am), try this on for size:

I’m “Good Enough” for me!

As a matter of fact, I don’t even have time to finish this blog because I have to take both my kids to the orthodontist.

I’m a mother. How could I ever do anything perfectly?

It’s like my yoga instructor said yesterday, that her hips will never be the same since giving birth. Once you re-arrange yourself and everything in your life, including your hips, to accommodate children, you will never, never be the same.

Neither will your “to do” list.

I should have put this first on my Daily Commitment Contract:

1. I am committed to not taking myself too seriously. To enjoying myself. Then, and only then, will I look at number 2 and 3!

Amen!

Day 17: Why I am Here, Part I

This is a bold statement, I realize. I was going to begin with a question: “Why am I here?” But perhaps I have learned something already. Perhaps pretending to be real, pretending to know or not to know, isn’t the answer. Perhaps guessing is. Take a stab at it! If it ain’t the truth, it won’t ring true. But if you don’t try, what’s the point? You might as well Say… WHY.

The colours of my life are wonderful right now. I am riding on a wave of destiny. Who knows where, but that was last night. The where doesn’t concern me now; It’s the WHY.

WHY WHY WHY
I am here to grab you.
I don’t know why.
My defenses are slack.
My reason is why.
I have no excuses
No alarm bells to set off 
No delay tactics
No seductive tamperings
I cannot lie
Tell me why?
I am here to find out
Shout it out
From the rooftops of the sky
You don’t have to know WHY
Just do it, whatever calls to you,
Wails to you from the open sky
Do it
From your shy
ill-prepared mind.

I don’t know why. I really don’t.

But sometimes I feel it… I feel it when I hear it, when I know it, when I see it. I feel it when I dream it. I feel it when I rise up in the morning and something has shifted and I don’t know why. (Sometimes those are the best days… when I don’t know why.)

Some sorry-assed ‘Coordinator in the sky’  is trying His very, very best, handling me with great care; but nonetheless, he droops a little because… “I just don’t get it.” 
But this day – this moment, I silently “get it”, I silently try. I silently am ready to lift my hands to the sky and say YES! I will try. (I will try not to complain). Yes! I will try not to control everything! I will try not to predict the WHYs and WHEREFOREs of my very BEING.
 

I just get to Rise. I will rise to the occasion of “I don’t know WHY”

Because something in me is cooking; something in me is beckoningrising above the quaketops of my reason, the broadband of my reasoning; above the delay in the response, the trickles of light fever, the “sorry, I don’t get this, can you please repeat?”, the “Please, please tell me… WHY????”

Something in me doesn’t give a F— and just wants to Give IT. Deliver IT. Be IT. Quake NOT at the NOTHINGNESS of it all: The matter of  IT DOESN’T MATTER WHY; the quiet, timid reflections that make-us-feel-better-for-a-time-until-the-next-question-arises: That Next Heart-Stopping, Earth-shattering, Eye-Popping

WHY 

But, as Shania says… (and I’m sorry about this, really):

WHY NOT?

Day 14: I Belong!

This morning I went to a yoga class I hadn’t been to in a while. That’s me, slipping in and out of things – alarming! Seriously, I ask myself, why do I get into things and then back away? I was even tempted to start all over – find another, better class; another, better teacher. But somehow, it all comes back to me. What am I so afraid of? That they won’t like me? That I won’t like them?

Are there really any better “anybodies” out there?…

I took a course last summer that changed my life – the Feminine Power series, with Katherine Woodward Thomas and Claire Zammit. I learned we women need to belong; we need to feel we are an integral part of something and that our contribution matters.  And our way of stopping that is to over-do and try to please others, while “sabotagingly” (yes, I invent words) neglecting our own needs, wishes, desires. Our own Power.  There are many ways this shows up:  perfectionism, fear of failure, wanting to be loved but pushing other people away ( “reject them first”), working too hard or hiding behind work (“maybe I’ll get promoted and then they’ll like me”); hiding behind other people who know more than we do; pretending to like things we don’t just to fit in; and sacrificing ourselves as a whole.  It doesn’t matter what it is; I saw “me” looking back at myself – backing away from things, from people, from life.  A lot of it, disturbingly, spoke to me.

The solution is obvious but alarmingly overlooked: there is nowhere else and nobody else to go but within my own self, to talk to that troubled girl and help her find her balance again. Her strength. We learned to make power statements that spoke to this deepest part, to stand in the strength of our best internal instincts – our fierce protection of what matters, just as we would protect a child. The part that cries “No!” or “Yes!” without any hesitation at all.  Or my way of saying it:

The Lioness in Us Will Never Lay Down

I Belong. I am an integral part of Life. I have a right to be here. My contribution matters. I matter. I am a unique, perfect and absolutely irreplaceable part of the Universe. I cannot be annihilated or forgotten. I Belong! Damnit!

So, today, as I walked back into that class, I hesitated at the door and said these simple words to myself first: “I Belong.” I breathed in and imaged all the pleasant faces I would encounter, and the energy I would have.  This is what I heard and saw upon entering:  my previous teacher sitting pleasantly with some others in a colourful room brightly lit, cheerful music playing, sunny smiles abounding, and her eyes happily lit:

“KRISTA!!!…. Oooh, Where have you been?!!…..”  (Her hands sweetly hugging her chest)… “We MISSED YOU!!!….”

I will never, never do that again. Assume I don’t belong. Or that they don’t want me.  I was wrong. Beyond wrong – because I missed out on their life, and they missed out on mine. I realized through their eyes, their smiles, how dynamic I was, how much I brought to them.

Whether you know it or not, whether people tell you or not, you are needed in this universe of things. I no longer seek another, better universe to belong to.  I Belong now. I’ll take this one, and – whether it pats me on the back or not – this one is more than happy to take me.

chorus of song

Remember Mr. Percival Singing?  I Belong!!

YES!!

Day 10: Anxiety and The Chorus of Dreams (Sing!)

I’m not sure what to call it:  this inexplicable feeling of unease, at times wafting through me unawares. I am going about my business, preparing for my daughter’s Brownie graduation, actually sewing (yes, me!) the final badges she’s received onto the veritable Brownie sash on the very last possible night – to be seen for all of 15 minutes in the briefest of ceremonies. (But the kids had fun.)

So what is this wafting sense of alarm as I am riding in the car? Or walking down the street? The birds are singing their usual chorus, I am walking to the beat, while the dog is running straight ahead.  Maybe it’s something like a bad dream that wakes you up in the middle of the most perfect summer night… There is no explaining it. We can try.

But it all comes down to this:  Does it really matter what fear is for? Does it really matter why we are afraid? Why we wake up in alarm, when there is no clear or present danger?  Maybe it is a signal from above, or from below. Maybe it is the carrier of change in the breeze.  The train coming at us, or for us, or the one we are riding on – it is all the same.  Some danger can be avoided; most is just our resistance to what lies ahead. Is it a cliff?  A drop-off point?  Or, the point of no return? Isn’t that…  a good thing?

Sometimes I am grateful for the sound of an alarm bell going off, when I really have to go.  And sometimes, it is best to bang the damn thing off and go back to sleep, lulling in the morning air and that faint and tasty dream; dispelling all rumours of noise and forgotten slings and arrows. It’s time to put our swords down – our impulse to protect and defend everything.  It’s time to Sing.

I find myself singing all the time lately…  Not professionally, though that was extraordinarily fun to sing in front of a live audience (and get paid!).  No, it is just as much fun, beyond fun – downright Joyous ! – to sing out loud in the midst of a chaotic front the world puts on.  All its soldiers lined up, coffee cups stained with resistant defense against the dawn.  No, this is the time to move on.  Move on, my friends, move on.  Join the choir of song that is sounding out loud in the  morning, even if you are still luxuriating in your treetop bed of surprises.  As I lay there, I think of what I am grateful for, even if I still feel a bit of distrust.

To join the day, unaware of what lies ahead, to join Life, not knowing what it or I shall bring, breeds excitement, not danger; is reason for celebration, not anxiety (or a host of other unsightly things). And maybe the pulse that beats in my heart (and in my eardrums) is not one of anxiety, but of Life itself calling me to Sing!

chorus of song

Mr. Percival and Babe sing! by John Frederick White

Sing! my friends, sing!  Though there be clear and present danger all about, Sing! Because the world needs You, Your voice, Your calling, Your sound!

The sound only You can make.

Day 7: Waiting

I thought I would be writing from Kingston today, the City of My Birth (more on that later). But I am still here, waiting for  my mother to come pick me up. We are going together to see my grandmother who is 93 (more in That’s Relative!)  Jeez, it seems I’m sending you everywhere today but here. HERE. HERE. HERE.

No, I am not proselytizing, but it did occur to me that this might be my lesson, my miracle, for the day. Waiting.

God, I hate waiting. Don’t you? I am a restless sort, and unless I am given to, in fact choosing to be downright lazy, waiting drives me crazy!

So, what’s the good that can come from it?  Well… today instead of preparing as I should for my mini-trip, I got up, did some quick work (more on that too, but I will try not to tease you anymore:), and in my angst went shopping. Yesterday (there I go again), I lost my dandelion picker. That’s my fancy term for it. So today, yes, today, instead of packing, I went to Canadian Tire and bought a new one. Along with:  2 solar lights, a barbecue lighter, paper towels, Murphy’s Oil (my favourite), and a bunch of other stuff I didn’t need. But I was very pleased with the dandelion picker. However, I had to wait in line for it.  A young couple held the line captive by presenting about 1900 coupons – they are apparently competing in one of those reality shows.  Good luck with that.  Now I tried to be zen about it, but was I really feeling all cozy inside? No. I wanted to scream. I did some “heart breathing” which is supposed to calm you down instantly, and I didn’t swear. That’s good.

When I got home instead of packing for  mini-trip or doing laundry, I “decided”, yes “decided” to have some ice-cream  on the deck.  But instead of doing the usual bowl of whatever (chocolate chip mint this time – yum…), I added some frozen blueberries to it – half out of guilt, and half out of curiosity. It tasted sublime. Kind of a crunchy freezie-smoothie.

Another hour or so to go before I say good-bye for two days and journey to the homeland. I hope I didn’t bore you too much with my tale about waiting in line for something more interesting to happen. Like tomorrow.

In the meantime, here I am, in the before, the after, and the in-between. Somewhere in there, I’m happy. Just being.

Somehow, someway, that’s good enough for me.

Day 6: New

There are some things I am still afraid of. Some people think being an actress makes me immune – instant courage. Not so. I admit I have a larger heaping teaspoonful of it, but sometimes I am not who I say I am. I’m…  shy.

When I was born my mother said I was a big crier – not for no reason – for the most part I was a very happy baby, and I have the ‘toothless grin’ photos to prove it.  (Hmm.. I’ll have to dig them up.)  I loved to eat anything my mother put in front of me, and once my mom and Aunt Jane took turns shoving teaspoonfuls of jam into my mouth (yum!), between which I would cry bloody murder if they were just a little too slow. I was, and still am, voraciously in love with life. This is fairly new. Although I started out that way, life got in the way. Moving. Loss. Failure, disappointment.  It’s called the 20s. My 30s were all about change. Huge transformative never-looking-back change. Phenomenal. And now that I’ve just entered my 40s, I’m on a new path – again.  Instead of the baby crying out for another huge heaping teaspoonful, I sometimes hold back. I wait. I wonder. I question. I ponder.

Where does this hesitance for life come from? Fear. Lack of experience – and too much experience.

This past week we were introduced to our new neighbours. For the past 12 years we’ve been hanging with our ‘old neighbours’, who had really become family. I was sad to see them go (even though they’re only 12 minutes away).  I also knew that change was good – for them and for us. They needed to grow as much as we did.  We still visit them in their new digs, and they are just like newlyweds fighting over paint chips (after 45 years of marriage).

For us, we are like new as well. Our ‘new neighbours’ are younger and have a baby. That old house where our old neighbours used to sing and burn sticks outside and host boxing day parties is slowly changing into a new time, a new shape.  Funny how perspective changes everything.

My shyness came in introducing myself, wanting to hang back and “give them some space”. I did that for about 3 weeks – well, almost 2 months.  Once we emerged from our dwelling places into the sun of our first summer day we noticed each other out back, waved hands, joked about the leaves and the pile-ups, everything home-owners lack.  The husband popped his head over the fence finally and asked, “Is it too early to ask Steve to have a beer?”  I laughed and said, “No, he’s about ready” as my husband came climbing down a ladder with eaves-trough goo in his hands.

men on a break

That night the young couple came over with their baby and his mother. We sat on our deck and had a few. Talked and talked, laughed and shared stories. It was grand. I felt so lucky to be there with these new people, welcoming them in, and them too. I felt just as new as they did. It opened up a new era in our lives, a new possibility for sharing, for being a couple who can go out for dinner and leave the kids behind (we’re lucky, ours are 8 and 14).  And of course, for our kids, babysitting. New days open up, sparkle and give new life, new energy, changes, comings and goings.

And – Ooh – Food!  Lots and lots of food. My inner child was very, very happy. We feasted that night, broke bread together, shared the wine and the beer, and sat over an open fire.

This is a life worth talking about. Worth sharing. Always and forever, New.

P.S. I have such great pictures to share – I’ll hunt them down and insert them later. Love.

Day 5: One Woman’s Weed…

dandelions

One woman's battle...

Springtime Canada. We have been encrusted by snow and trampled by rain for two long seasons, and now Summer is upon us. Out of our weary and dark dwelling places we roam, emerging from our comfortable habits of yesterday, cherished shows that got us through (American Idol anyone?), a shot too many or glass (or two) of wine, our warm beds to return to.  Suddenly, as the back doors slide open and the lids open in the shed, the brushes get a wiping, the tools get a shake, the cobwebs of  yesteryear flicked away….  What have we got now?

 Weeds, my friend. Weeds, weeds, and more weeds!

Yesterday I was on a walk with my daughter, and she is at that delicate age where her reason has suddenly shouted, “But that’s just a weed!”  What was once a precious dandelion flower given to her mother with great care and the sweetest of sweet smiles, is now a pesky weed, reduced to the order of no more, and not for me.  I corrected her immediately.

“Sweetheart, I love when you give me dandelions. They’re so beautiful. And I never, ever want you to say again that they are just weeds, do you hear me?!  Because I cherish every dandelion you ever give me. I always want you to give me dandelions. Never, never stop. OK?”   She looked at me like I was crazy and then she agreed.  She plucked one, then two and three up from the ground, bunched them in her usual array.  She placed them in the same container as the lovely tulips she picked that morning.

They are perfect, don’t you agree?

tulips and dandelions

P.S. As for the weeds, I am slowly digging my way out of hell.  I have almost recovered my Japanese garden walkway which was so perfectly manicured when I moved in. NOT!  The dandelions have made quite a home there. Don’t tell my daughter most of them ended up in the compost pile! Sorry little weeds! I tried! (bleeding heart that I am).

P.P.S.  Solution?  Put the kid to work!… 

no fair!