Life is like one of those teachers who scare the living daylights out of you, but earns your respect for life.
This year, Life has offered me many opportunities to say good-bye.
Early this year, I tacked this little saying to my fridge.
Grace and discernment are two qualities that I’ve become very conscious of during the past year or so. Little did I know when I tacked that little nugget of wisdom to the fridge, that I would turn to that saying over and over again, especially the, “…how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”
That’s a hard one. Mostly because we’re never really sure, are we darlings? Grace is one thing, but the discernment to know what or whom is meant for you is an entirely different ball game. It’s like you prepare for a game of football, and show up to find out that you’re playing badminton.
Life is a wonderful journey filled with surprises. The trick is to be able to stay curious and hopeful when the future remains unclear.
What I’ve learned about good-byes are that many of them are not really good-byes, they’re more like, ‘see you later’s’, or, ‘bye for now’s’.
Even the good-byes we look forward to are often just temporary absences until we’re presented with something from the past that needs some more attention. As we grow up, mature, and reach out, our worlds become smaller as we meet more and more people.
Death, break-ups, and career changes. I’ve experienced them all this year, and the fat lady of 2015 hasn’t finished singing yet.
Wishing you the grace to let go of the things that aren’t meant for you, and the ability to let go of trying to figure out if they really were.
A lesson I’ve learned this week is that misery loves company. Misery loves company like I love wine, intellectual conversation and a man who knows how to laugh.
If you are unhappy or stressed, or wondering why in the heck life has to be so darn difficult, I implore you to look deep down into your wee little capitalistic heart. That’s it darling, dig down, way down, and call up your common sense.
If you can take a step back for a moment and look at things objectively, you’ll be surprised. Just being in the moment helps. Realizing that our little worlds are not the centre of the known universe also helps keeps things in perspective whether it’s work, friendship, family or a relationship.
Just keep it simple.
Stay away from people who thrive on creating and sustaining their own misery. This is something no one can help them change but themselves. Misery loves company, but until it can lighten up and laugh, it doesn’t really deserve it.
The love of my life who abandoned me told me that me being a ‘giver’ was what most attracted him to me. Ha!
That should have had me running the other way. The only people attracted to givers are takers, and quite frankly, it’s boring.
The reality is though, that I am a giver. A giver of my heart in everything that I do. I tend my friendships, bring my best professional self to work, and hope to leave the world a better place than I found it at the end of every day.
I’ve realized over time that that looks a little differently than I used to think it should.
Example; today it was strongly (passively aggressively) suggested that I should abandon my work and go home to tend to a minor sore throat and common cold. In the past, I would have toughed it out, lived on liver-damaging-over-the-counter-pharmacandy and felt better in a month. Smiling all the while of course.
But not today. Nope.
You see, I’m learning to take some of my own advice. Givers tend to utter such sincere statements as, It’s ok sweetie, don’t be so hard on yourself, and one of my personal favourites, don’t worry about it I’ll take care of it.
Years ago I gave up the need to be a ‘giver’. After a really bad, treacherously drawn-out relationship, I finally learned that I don’t need to be there for people who are only there for me when they need something.
The second two quarters of this year have been a colossal gong-show of loss, heartbreak, being taken advantage of, and frankly my darling buttercups, I’ve had efuckingnough. That’s French for; I’m done.
I do not need to be anyone’s savior, free therapist, or emotional punching bag. I could use a wicked massage, night of hot sweaty sex, and a romantic dinner.But that’s in the works as I type this my sweet little peaches…after all, a lady makes sure that her needs are met in order not to settle for second-best.
So, today, at the suggestion that I was too ill to work, I packed up my beautiful black and red leather bag and headed out the door.
After a quick stop to pick up new shoes, and a hair-colour pick-me-up, I spent the afternoon finally taking the advice of a good art-therapist friend of mine. I used the last of my instant, vanilla-flavoured coffee that’s been in the cupboard since David slew Goliath, and spattered the hell out of some watercolour paper. I scrawled my pastels and turned up my Rachmaninoff extra-freaking loud.
I sipped tea. I wore tights and a baggy sweater, and I opened wide all of the windows to let the fresh autumn air breeze through our little home.
When I was done with that, I spent 90 minutes with Charlie Hunnam on my couch and watched him take his shirt off and stare back at me with his wild blue eyes. Men like that give me faith in my libido and all that it’s done for me over the years. Thank you Charlie.
What I did not do was listen for my phone, respond to energy-sucking messages, or feel that I owed anyone anything. After all, a gal has to take care of herself every once in a while, ’cause there ain’t nobody out there who’s going to do it for her.
What I’ve learned is that when you do it all, all of the time, no one comes to your rescue. It used to upset me, make me feel abandoned, alone, sad and even angry.
The truth is, I don’t need to be saved. No one does.
I just need to let go of the message that our western world sinisterly implies; keep busy, want more stuff, don’t think, just keep going.
Busy is over-rated. Stuff just kills the planet and clutters our space. Rest, introspection and silence seem to go against everything society shoves so beautifully down our throat. Today I wasn’t swallowing though. Today I pulled the blankie of don’t-bother-me up around my ears and turned my face to the wall.
Today I did not give one single damn. I took care of me, my son, and my mental health. I let my broken heart loose and loved it just as it was; whole, hurting, imperfect and yet, still hopeful. Damn I’m one hell of a dame…
I strongly suggest you don’t give a damn too. Every once in a while, it’s just the medicine you need. After all, who are you trying to prove yourself to, really?
Monday mornings; a gift from reality reminding us that we live beyond our means. Why else would we have given the beginning of the week such a bad reputation?
I only have to work until Wednesday this week, but that’s quite enough, after that I have two wonderful weeks of me-time. Time-off; a little vacation in Peurta Backyarda with my second novel which has been neglected far too long. I have day-trips and a whole-lotta nothing planned.
In other words, I’m going to relax, rejuvenate and refresh. No pressure. No have-to’s. Just a silent alarm clock and an open road if I choose to travel it.
Whatever your week looks like, I hope that you make time for something you love; a silent escape, some physical pampering, and time with someone who feeds your soul. After all, it’s these small dreams that have always made Monday bearable. Those dreams, and really strong coffee.
I love no-alarm-clock days. They make me feel like I’m spoiling myself a little bit.
No-alarm-clock-days are few and far between in this house, and today was no exception. Although, just before my alarm was set to wake me up to the sounds of weekend jazz, the wild-cat we adopted this year began a lovely chorus of guttural vomiting. It’s a good thing he’s so darn cute.
For some reason the cat vomit made me think about some of the people I’d interacted with this week. Isn’t if strange how our minds work?
Anyway, my unsupervised mind turned to those folks who had spoken or acted unkindly and/or unethically. The needle for arse-holes has been pushed into the red this week.
I began to wonder what on earth made them tick, and then I stopped.
You see, all of the yucky stuff boils down to insecurity, greed, anger, jealousy…which really further reduces to one singular element; fear. Fear must feel exactly like our little wild cat felt this morning – gut-wrenchingly nauseated.
It was the second or third night of the workshop, close to midnight, when I sat on the very cold bed in that dorm room in Texas and realized that I hated at least three of my friends and a woman I knew only marginally.
The reason that I thought it was so funny was because I could totally relate. I’d been that woman, in retreat, alone at midnight in her dorm room. I’d been held captive with my own mind in silence for days at a time within a group of people, who in silence made me think that I was, they were, that we were somehow above feeling anything but blissful-unicorn-joy-and-loving-kindness toward the world.
When I first started attending longer retreats I had difficulty. By the second full day of silence, my mind was like a heroine addict going through withdrawal, and the sound of anyone shuffling in meditation, or masticating during our silent meals made me want to stealthily creep out of my perfectly-spiritual skin and glue their ass to the mat or cram their vegetarian-tofu eggs down their throat. Needless to say, days three and four got incrementally better.
No one that I know of ever went home in a body bag because they were suffocated by tofu-eggs (tofu eggs by the way, are a sin against nature), nor did anyone have to have their meditation cushion surgically removed from their hiney.
I wish I could say I was immune to all of the wonderfully difficult emotions that I was mulling over in my early-morning-cat-vomit-addled-mind this morning. I wish I could say I am always kind and angelic, and gentle. I’m not.
I do my best, and yet I still cherish my fiery Irish-tempered side. It protects my heart and gives me something to hang on to when it gets broken. I believe in balancing light and dark and observing those thoughts. This is one of the most effective, inexpensive, therapeutic techniques to keep us living a meaningful existence.
Sometimes, it’s the cat vomit (fear, anger, jealousy) of life that serves as a meditation bell, bringing us back to our own thoughts, our own space, and our own choosing how we wish to show up in the world every day.
It’s not about yelling like you’re a creature from a Spielberg movie. It’s not about winning or losing, although winning is a great feeling.
Years ago, during my first year of University, I enrolled in a selected topics American History class, and one of the first units we delved into was, “Sport As Religion in North America”.
Little did I know then that I would raise a child who would prove this theory true.
Welcome to the kingdom and community of little league sports.
Supporting your child’s interest in sports allows you to watch your child do something they love, interact with a group of peers and take direction from a coach.
It’s about knowing that they’re learning social skills and critical thinking skills as they keep their body vibrant.
Being a ‘single’ sports parent has not always allowed me the freedom or flexibility to be at every game or every tournament, but you can bet your buns if I could be there, I was. When I couldn’t other parents stepped in to help, and when I could, I returned the favour.
Tonight I dropped the kiddo off to catch the team bus to his first football game of the season. He has practiced, trained and worked hard to make sure that he does his best for himself, and for his team. He’s also eaten me out of house and home. What a glorious parenting problem to have; a healthy child.
Tonight when the gang gets there to cheer him on, we will huddle under blankets, eat hot-dogs, catch up on each others’ news. When he looks up to find his crazy old mother with the giant team-coloured finger and tie-dyed blanket, and his video-camera carrying dad, he’ll know that we’ve got his back.
Tonight I will reconnect with other parents I’ve known for years, new parents who are nervous about how their own child is fitting into a new high school and a new team. Being a sports mom is about embracing the experience, and being able to scope out the nearest bathroom, ice-cream or sub shop.
Being a sports mom is about giving your kids opportunities to build self-esteem, relationships, and confidence. It’s also about letting go and giving them the freedom to explore what sports they love and which ones they don’t love.
It’s also about having a car full of rain-ready-gear, mittens, hats, boots and various and sundry other creature comforts that make braving the elements a bit more pleasant.
Wishing every sports mom out there a fabulous football season (which, as you know, conflicts with baseball try-outs and basketball)…and for everything else, there’s wine…