From the gnarled grip
passing on as
to be cast down
as promising citizens
of new lands
Or weary refugees
if they are dropped
in hostile territory
So as we march closer to the new year, we take time to reflect on the one we leave behind. I certainly had some ups and downs, but this seems nothing new in my life. I’ve become accustomed to this pattern, riding my roller coaster more easily now, with more acceptance. Maybe it’s why, though, I hate them in for real, because I live one it seems.
But my coping skills have improved over time, so each dip on the ride may not leave my stomach quite as queasy as it once did. My white knuckled grip as each valley drops out from under me, has loosened slightly and maybe I can even keep my eyes open.
Still, 2017 feels a bit vague. What’s ahead and where the ride is taking me isn’t quite clear. Of course all the standard wishes we grant each other and secretly hope for ourselves are lurking around within me. But as each year passes, I wonder at these wishes. How do I get them to actually take form. Maybe they are only shadowy illusions I create to keep me moving forward.
Each moment, day, month and year seem to flicker by now with such frightening speed. There are times that I simply sit just to capture a second, but it too flutters by.
So as songs of old drift in through my window, and thoughts of 2016 get tucked away, I turn to face the new year. It will take courage for us all I think, as individuals and as a nation, for we have challenges ahead.
Since I’ve accepted my life is rife with challenges, I am ready. Let me be strong this year and do what is right. And may the ride for us all be safe.
While almost everyone I know is most likely surrounded by friends or family celebrating one holiday or another, I am home contemplating my life and current situation…by myself.
You see, I am search of a new job again because last Friday my manager informed that I was too slow at my tasks. Since it’s a holiday I won’t bore you with the details, because complaining is not what this post is about. Rather, it’s about life, goals and hopes.
When I had explained to one family member what happened, she had put the blame on me, as though I was somehow inadequate. That I am always finding fault in everything and can’t stay put. Of course, me being me, I immediately thought this was correct: that yes indeed I’m a failure and I blew it once again.
But luckily, I spoke with two other people who were more understanding: My Mom and another dear and wonderful best friend, who put the record straight. They reminded me that the goal in life should be satisfaction, whatever the cost. If it means giving up little piddly jobs, then so be it. If it takes months and months to find the right one, then fine. Sometimes good things take sacrifice and soul-searching. These things aren’t always handed to us, and because of this they are all the more sweet.
Leaving my home in the North and coming here took lots of sacrifice and maybe there is more to be had in my future. To attain the best life, one must persevere and not just give up and settle. How often do we do this because we feel we must? We put up with crappy jobs or miserable relationships or live in awful conditions because we are too fearful or don’t feel we deserve something better. How easily I had been convinced it was my fault that these jobs didn’t work out?
The world is changing in my opinion. Others don’t try as hard as I do because my expectations are high. In fact, they have always been higher than others. So therefore I often get dashed expectations. It’s painful, but when they are met, I am the luckiest person in the world. Do I lower them just because others can’t lift up to a place of caring and worth? I’m afraid not. I’ll deal with the pain and disappointment. If we have high expectations, then if we’re lucky maybe we’ll get to the middle of them; if we have lower ones, then where will we end up?
So this holiday season my gift is that I realized that it’s OK to aim for the best life and not feel guilty or ashamed. It may not be someone else’s idea of a ‘best life’, but it will be mine. I know what it is and what it will mean to me and hopefully someday this dream will come true!
This is what my co-worker posted on the white board about my birthday today! Happy birthday to me… ha ha, because I’m really 60 today and he likes to be funny. But with me dancing around and that post, plenty of folks knew today was the day that I tipped over into a new decade.
Usually I let these things slide, but since this one seemed fairly monumental to me, I let my mouth rip. I mean, sheesh, I recall feeling like my Grandma was way old when she was in her sixties! And wouldn’t you know, time just plundered on ahead and here I am! How the heck did that happen pray tell?
My high school friends and I have been scratching our heads (and looking in the mirrors) and wondering where all those years went. One of them just sent me a picture of my HS principal/geology teacher. For goodness sake, he’s 91 years old! He looked fantastic mind you, but 91 years old?! That’s nuts!
But even though I went to work, it’s been a great day so far. Some of my co-workers got me gifts….it was amazing and incredibly touching! Man, after 8 years of working at my old job, you had to die for anyone to pay attention. Two gals in the scheduling part of our OR came up behind me (very unusual) and I turned around from my desk. I said: wow, I’m being stalked by schedulers (I really had no idea what was going on). One is pretty serious, so she said: Yup, you made a really big mistake booking a case. My heart was pounding in my chest and I got so upset. Then the said: Happy Birthday, and they gave me the nicest gifts! I was shocked. It was so sweet!! Even my bosses got me something and another wonderful gal who gave me the book the other day.
And as I was leaving a bunch of them chimed in to a rendition of: Happy Birthday to you, you live in the zoo…. I changed it to: I work in the zoo… All in all, very touching. With hugs, fist bumps and all that…. So maybe I’m getting there and work is becoming more and more an accepting place.
On the home front, a huge package from a dear old friend, cards and best of all:
Calls from all three of my wonderful daughters! I even was remembered by someone I’ve been out of contact with for quite some time.
Mom and I will go out tomorrow to dinner too. I’m lucky to have this day, because it’s often a 3 day weekend. Yippee.
Let’s hope it’s a wonderful decade. Better than the last because that one was a bit tough. Now I’m really moving into the crone years: hopefully the wisdom will start to really come, the patience, the contentment and I’ll be walking the right path. Thanks to you all for you continued support on this blogging journey of mine!!
Can I crawl into your womb
Swimming silently upstream
Quietly this time
Maybe as someone else
Or float around
In the darkness
Getting my bearing
Womb cave cover
That sweet swollen capsule
Rocketing to moons
Until I land
With a thud
On the place called Earth
Now dirt and mud
Dry brittle dust
It’s all sucked away
And there on the ground
All red and brown
I just lay down
I walk anyway
Overdressed, battened down umbrella
Ping tapping my shoulder
Not many others out
Squirrels square dancing
I dodge puddles pondering
Once laying shipwrecked in bed
Booming claps surrounded my craft
Hunkered deep down among the heavenly hull
Riding out the storm in stuttered slumber
Childhood cabins damp and cool
Slanted sheets upon shuttered cloth
We sat indoors like prisoners
And read our books
Ticking pittering to play outside
Turned up dirt earth soil
Smells of pulsing plants
Freshly washed and finely fed
Muddy puddles splash splendid fountains
Walk home wet
A baptized rat drowned in the rivers of coincidence
Fall upon me
Run through my body
Create who I am
Moist wet me
As I sat cross-legged trying to meditate
I was distracted by the pattering rain outside
It was a constant beating in my head
Like a tiny drumbeat of a thousand natives tapping their rhythm
Trance-like I traveled back in time
And was once again a child
With my nose pressed against a moist window
Peering outside at the damp world
Hands leaving marks on the glass
Fingerprints of me
Wishing I was outside running in the sun
Or the days in camp
Not really a child anymore, but not quite a grown-up
Laying in the cabin on a night with a raging storm
Snuggled in my blankets
And a counselor reading, taking us somewhere else
While the lightning struck and thunder boomed
Sometimes even blowing raindrops through the openings
Or the time my girls were with me to celebrate an Uncle’s birthday
Caught in a downpour in a city
Running like banshee, disoriented and wondering where we left the car
Rain is cleansing, annoying, flooding, biting, gentle, life-giving
Desert rain, tropical rain
Tap Tap Tap
Too much can destroy, too little whither
And with the sun can bring a rainbow