on growing old

When I was five years old, I had a terrible dream.

I dreamed that my mom was an old lady with grey hair who couldn’t walk up the stairs.

When I woke up, I told my mom about the dream, crying.  I asked her if she would ever be old like that. “Yes,” she replied, “but not for a long time.”

Until I had that dream, I was certain that my parents would always be the young and vibrant selves they were when I was five.  I am pretty certain I thought I would always be a kid, too.  Since then, I have gone through various phases of dealing with the shocking information that my parents would get old.

I am keenly in touch with the pain I will feel if I live long enough to lose my parents.  Mostly I am in touch with how grateful I am in this moment that my parents are here and that they are still well.  I am grateful for who they are and have been for me.

Accepting my parents’ mortality forces me to realize my own.  I will not live forever; I will not be young forever.  My children, if they live that long, will one day lose me, too.

No one gets out of here alive.  Not even those whom, in our eyes, are stronger and bigger than life itself.

a thing I hate about myself

For as long as I remember I’ve practiced “speak before I think”.  I want to undo at least 80% of the words I say.  They are usually repetitive and useless and impulsive.

I wish I would always double check and make sure that everything I say is 100% true and not make assumptions, change stories, or say things from my imagination that are only true in my head.

When I am in vata excess, which I have been in for at least a month, I talk so much that I exhaust myself and others.  This is my 17th blog post this month; one more post and it will be my busiest month since I started blogging 3 years ago.  I think this can attest to my serious overtalking, overthinking, and generally being annoying.

I don’t want to give this any more energy by thinking or talking about it too much, but for the record, I want to be a woman of fewer words.  I want the words I use to matter.

I do not want to be annoying.  I want to love who I am when I talk. I want my husband to love me and not be annoyed with me.  I want my mind to quiet down so I can sleep a little.

exercise is free

I just remembered today that by doing the work that needs to be done, I can get exercise that is free and in the outdoors.

This revelation comes at a time that I am once again feeling the pull of the gym, like I really “should” go there and get into shape.  But it seems to unnatural to me.  It feels to me like a waste of time, and boring, too.  I know some people enjoy going there, and kudos to them.  I don’t and I don’t think I ever will.

Today I realized that if I want something done, I have to do it.  It is up to me to make sure my house is maintained and gardening is done the way I want.  I have been sitting around thinking it would just do itself or Alan would do it, but without any discussion about it.  I just assumed it, probably because that is how I grew up.  My dad took care of those things and I never had to worry about them.  My mom took care of the rest.  Together they are the most responsible people I have ever known.  They get things done!

I don’t live at my parents’ anymore and I haven’t for a very long time. It’s about time I adjust and step into reality.

I will be outside doing work for the next few months.  There is landscaping and gardening waiting, garage cleaning and organizing to be done, and a garage sale to be had. There is siding to be replaced, a tree to take down, and a driveway to be dug up.  I won’t be doing that, but I will make it happen.  I wonder if I will be able to keep up with everything I normally do inside the house?

In the meantime, I will get some good exercise and vitamin D.

a dream

I had the most marvelous dream.

It gave me a message.  The message is that we should live in Northfield, Minnesota and that the job I would love is to be a counselor for college kids.  I saw myself in a sunny office, older with gray hair, as a clinical counselor for college kids. I had written a couple of books and had found my niche: a holistic approach to mental health with a focus on transitioning into college and independence.  I woke up and thought, “I would LOVE that!”

I had never thought of these things before; I’d always had my mind set on northern Minnesota. I have been drawn to counseling but turned off at working with depressed and hopeless people. But Northfield is exactly the kind of place I had asked for in my Treasure Map that I wrote last month.  It is the perfect setting.  The job is perfect for me.  I love the flexibility of clinic scheduling, I love college-aged kids, I love small-town colleges.

The portion of my Treasure Map that describes the location I desire to live in is as follows:

“We have a wonderful community and wonderful neighbors who we help and help us when we need it.  People are progressively-minded where we live and we have wonderful relationships with them. There are wonderful little shops, restaurants, and cafes within a reasonable distance and we have easy access to all the natural and organic food we want. We are close enough to our church to travel there once per month.”

A small town with a private college, shops and cafes and even a co-op.  AND a short drive from the Twin Cities.  Mia could even continue with her choir and homeschooling groups. We could see family and friends regularly.  We could find land and build our little eco house and have our little hobby farm.

Now to figure out when and how to fit my graduate schooling, a baby, home-schooling and a career into the picture.  But then again, the details are not up to me and I have many years ahead in which to accomplish these tasks. All I have to do is ask, believe, and be grateful.

calm after the storm

Release of pain is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

In order to appreciate feeling good, we have to know what it is to feel bad. If we distract ourselves from feeling badly, we distract our ability to heal and grow.

Last week I was in a storm.  Old pain hovered over me and I had nowhere to run.  I had nightmares, digestive problems, headaches, and was generally unpleasant and crabby.

After being miserable for a while I remembered I knew how to use pain for growth and healing, although applying logical processes is very hard when I am feeling sorry for myself.  So I picked myself up and I went through the process. It hurt for a while.  Then it went away.

The process is this:

Sit with the pain.  Feel it fully.  Don’t run. Face it, listen to it, identify it, talk to it.  Talk to people in you memory and tell them how you feel.  Yell at them if you have to. Visualize yourself in the hurtful situation and give yourself that love that you needed then but didn’t have.  Hold that little child that is yourself.  Tell that little child that you will take care of her now, and take her into your arms and bring her to the present, where you will take care of her and keep her safe and loved. Then see the humanity in the people who have hurt you; see them as little children. When the time is right, tell the pain you are ready to let it go.  Open yourself to forgiveness. And finally, when you are ready, thank your pain for what it has given you. Be grateful for all of your experiences and the lessons you have learned through them.

Sometimes I don’t need to hold that little child; sometimes I just have to feel the emotion and open myself to letting it go.

The pain may last a long time or it may not.  It will take the time it needs. Be patient. Nurture and love yourself. Eventually it will go.

My storm passed within a week.  I didn’t run.  I let it pass through me even though I hated to. I felt self-loathing and and meanwhile affirmed to myself that I love and approve of myself and I am worthy. I didn’t escape with pills or food or shopping.  Well, there might have been a little shopping in there, but with minimal damage and serious therapeutic value!

Weathering storms has gotten easier with practice, but it is never easy.  It is hard and painful work, but it is important work–work that brings peace and newness.


This blog is where I go to sort things out when my mind is on overdrive.  It always makes me feel better to write things down, even if afterward it seems silly.

Today I was sad all day.  Then I went to work with the old lady that I care for.  Now I am home, and I am my old self again.  All the sadness is lifted.  I feel positive and happy.

Giving to someone who appreciates me is immediate relief for sadness.

Now I remember why I got the job in the first place.

a hard and strange day

After immersing myself in my past (by spending a few days at my childhood home) I am feeling strange.  Not necessarily due to anything in particular; I had a wonderful time.  Going back in time inevitably opens old wounds–those that we all have.

I am overcome with feelings of guilt and inadequacy and feeling stuck.  I feel alone. I feel like nobody understands or appreciates me for who I am.

I am unable to accomplish much today.  My attitude is pessimistic and negative.  I have been having nightmares and severe digestive upset.  My list of ten favorite things that I wrote today didn’t even cheer me up the way it normally does.

I want to leave Facebook. Again.  Why do I have such a love/hate relationship with it? My “friends” list has grown again to a point where I don’t feel comfortable sharing and being my true self.  When I post things that are of interest of me, I think I inevitably offend someone every time.  I am overly concerned with how I affect people to the point where I punish myself with guilt and grief over it.  People can be so complicated, myself included.

Sometimes we have to be sad.  Sometimes we have to digest those uncomfortable feelings before we can be in a good place again. Feeling good takes conscious effort and nurturing of the self.

I am trying to remember that today and am trying to roll with this discomfort, letting it pass through me so I can feel soft and free again.