Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Way the Wind Blows..

E. E. Cummings once wrote that "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."  Many of us, me included, have let life kind of happen to us. We've not created what we wanted us to be, but have just reacted to whatever way the wind blew us.  Jobs, friendships, situations seem to find us instead of the other way around.  Bending and bowing to the direction of the wind, the pull of the tides or the direction someone turns us to face will eventually shape you.  By my 40's, I realized that from the outside, I have everything.  A beautiful home, a wonderful husband, a rewarding (but stressful) job, healthy family.  But from the inside, I feel as if I've just hopped on whatever taxi was driving by, with no real direction guided by my dreams.  Wrapped in brightly colored streamers, woven around me like a May Pole, it has become a beautiful life, but constricting and limiting.

We move certain ways in our lives based on expectations, responsibilities, and the way the wind is blowing.  Sometimes the direction we think we are going in life is not heading the way we planned and we don't realize it until we look back.  It wasn't apparent to me until I looked back and saw that my life had veered off the course of my desire lines and onto the expected, paved sidewalks.

My dad once sent me an obituary that he clipped from the paper with a note.  "Isn't this beautiful, " he wrote.  "I'd like you to write my obituary like this.  You almost feel like you know this woman and what a life!"

It was beautifully written.  Truth is, my dad has had, and continues to have, an incredible life.  He gives freely to those in need. He had an adventurous life as an employee of the airlines many years ago, where he traveled the world.  He continues to travel the world in his 70's.  He has overcome mind-boggling personal struggles and has dealt with his share of tragedies.  He's very healthy and active.  He has a Zen attitude like I've never seen in a person and has such an aura of peace about everything that happens to him.  He also laughs frequently and has many, many friends and a varied social life.

He's already written his obituary.  I can't write it any better.

Patti Digh, author of "Life is a Verb" says to "Live an irresistible obituary. The story of our lives is one that we should create, not wait for others to write after we're gone."  I'm working on that.  I've made a few steps in that direction.

A few days ago, I was thinking about what to blog about.  I felt as if I hadn't done much to add more life to my life this go hand gliding, sailing, traveling, trying a new skill, or making new friends and then a friend of mine remarked that I had, in small, nearly imperceptible steps.

I'm having surgery Monday to FIX a bad knee (physical), I changed jobs to EXPERIENCE (mental) a new challenge and I bought an antique car just like my mom had when I was a child to FOCUS (emotional) on a time when I remember my mom being healthy, happy and alive.

I need to change how I look at things because often times the small changes that make the big difference seem to elude us.  I'm trying.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Life is Better With A Sugar Buzz.

I haven't written in a while because I'm losing steam.  I haven't even really got my feet under me with this project and already I'm failing.  Challenging yourself and change is hard.  I'ts not like I'm trying to change  a lot.  I'm just trying to exercise more, get my mind wrapped around positive things and get myself out there...doing things...things that I can look forward to.  I've already fallen back into my old routines. Epic fail.

I was eating lunch at a coffee shop the other day and I noticed at the table beside me there was a woman and her two preschool-aged kids and another woman who was probably Grandma. The girl child (about 2-3 years old) was squirming in her chair, but nibbling on her peanut butter sandwich between distractions.   Boy child (about 8-9 months) was in his high chair, banging on the table while mom was feeding boy child on her left, telling girl child on her right to sit still and eat and then barely getting in a bit of food from her own plate.  

As I'm watching this mom-dance between stuffing food down the gullett of baby boy whenever his mouth would veer close to her hand on one side of the table, and moving the little girl's glass away from the edge of the other side of the table, telling her to sit up, eat more, etc.,  I notice that the little boy's body was turned completely toward Grandma, who was eating her meal smiling. laughing, nodding and playfully touching