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Archive for August, 2012

I am grappling with peace of heart. Mid-live and recovery; separate yet the same journey.  A woman comes to mid-life with gifts, memories, experience, heart break, and night sweats – and for most some loss of innocence; we’ve been touched by death of someone special by now and have learned to navigate those waters – sometimes with grace, sometimes not, but ultimately realizing that deep pain has come and will most likely come again. We’ve probably survived a divorce or managed through the rocky waters of a long-term relationship, a debilitating/chronic illness or accident that challenged us or a loved one beyond what we thought we could endure or overcome.

The term mid-life does not describe the unsettledness and the introspection of looking at a life half over.  We’ve probably been mothers, daughters and wive’s and in other’s service, and for many tied to a schedule and a clock and appointments. We are also the sandwich generation; taking care of kids and parents, but for most of us the latter end of mid-life is past empty nest. The prospect of what to do with life next is truly a mind maze — there is more to do? More education, follow your heart and give up your job. In a post-depression economy where many of our lives have been changed from what they thought they were going to be. Should I? do I have to? What about retirement? Is it just work and kids and eat right and the myriad of should’s to live longer? Better? And what is worth it, what is this life all about? Is it just a string of putting out fires created by others, the nurturing of others that is so much a part of our nature.

It seems the challenges of a women in her 40’s is different than her 50’s and yet again her 60’s. But drinking changes the dynamic of the growth in these years, we can become stuck at a certain stage and never move on while still drinking, yet when we quit the growth begins again but our disadvantage seems to be now we are late bloomers; face issue’s that  probably would have been lesson’s already learned. Our own judgement of our character is relentlessly unkind. New sobriety, even a few years sober brings awareness to all of our short-comings, and all the incidences that have not yet been dealt with. The mistakes that need to be rectified first slow things down to what seems an interminable crawl. I think growing and living are as important as just being alive to scrap another day.

Sometimes status quo is easiest.  Stability desired – stability to the point of allowing circumstances that should change remain the same. The fear and exhilaration’s of stepping out of our comfort zone does not seem like a peaceful endeavor. Yet to find peace with myself with out being busy, without trying to conquer the next thing to prove I am living my life well — To hear what it is I want yet spend the time on the work of peace of heart, the answer I am left with is God.

I am looking towards religion, but not as a church would have one look at it but from a stand point of, ‘I do not not want to be a church of one,’ with only my own thoughts, and using a buffet of spiritual offerings. A need of a more structured spiritual life not centered around my own thoughts.

I wonder how any one else comes to this, if they do. The idea of religion vs. spirituality is a chasm at times. But contention is not necessary as they speak the same language as Kathleen Norris puts it in her book “The Cloister Walk” about the Benedictine Rule, “Benedict’s voice remains calm – persevere, bear one another’s burdens, be patient with one another’s infirmities of body or behavior. And when the “thorns of contention” arise in daily life, daily forgive, and be willing to accept forgiveness. Remember that you are not the center of the universe but, to use Benedict’s words, “keep death daily before your eyes.”

But my thoughts are hard on myself, my worries and concerns deep about daily affairs, death is fearsome in it’s finality — it is not that I shall go, but I will not leave a trace of me behind.  One person in an evolutionary chain that continues until it is extinct. It is natural to notice death now, one eye has slit open, carefully, not too wide to notice that this life is finite; awake now, this dormant giant that youth allowed to sleep. This knowledge though makes me want to fight for peace of heart, for gentleness of nature. She says, “ peace is not an easy thing, but something that must be struggled for. I don’t want that to be so – it seems by it’s very nature peace should just be peaceful.

A movie I was watching today said something about the dash – it’s how you live that dash — the one between your birth year and your death year on a tombstone.

I guess we all decide on how we want to live that dash — and maybe recovery gives a chance to notice that there is even a dash to be lived. The struggle is not to be feared, but let lap gently on the shores of the soul. The one thing we didn’t know was a gift.

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I’m fine in the way a woman usually is when she says FINE — lol — which is good, getting business done and being slightly down in-between. Except now, sober, it doesn’t seem like life or death or even permanent. (or is that just old age and wisdom?)

Exciting news in the form of a 36 gallon fish tank.  Beautiful and has already encouraged hours of meditation. Water falling, several fish from a Sunrise Gourami (Juno) – to a Bali shark (Zoe), a couple rasboras (Detectives Flynn and Provenza after ‘The Closer‘ characters; as they seem to patrol the fish tank) and two pleco’s one I call Jr. because he is so small. And one invertebrate – Jaque lol (‘Finding Nemo’) Also ‘The Dread Pirate Robert’; the one fish that seemed to survive the move, the cat, several unplanned water changes, and chasing some neons to the top so the cat would eat them instead of him  whereby earning him his name, was in a small zen 5 gallon tank. He seems to be well pleased with the new tank and space but took to antagonizing the Bali, who already hit the tank has a nervous nelly. Odd for a poor fish named after a shark — but I have named her Zoe — in the hopes she shall live. There is also another fish of unknown origin that I call A.D.H.D. because she continue’s to dart everywhere, making sudden stops and turns – hyper, aimless and forgetful has all getout — o wait, that’s me.  small chuckle there.

I had already run out of mass, church, whatever you call those nondenominational gatherings that morning. Hey, I don’t mind shaking hands, but seriously when you have us break into groups of three or four my need for community and Spirit is suddenly forgotten and I flee! seriously — soon as we stood up I told husband- out, out out, move, move — pushing a little on his back! I longed for the safety of my Catholic Church —  Though Richard Rohr speaks to how pastors have to dumb down the message and it is difficult for true spiritual transformations to occur. How this segued into a trip to the pet store after breakfast I have no idea.

I have to got to the University to withdraw this week and hopefully they will extend the application until the following semester. (Which causes a great deal of sadness.) I’m confident they will. I’m still working on math online so who knows, I may test into Pre-Calc.   It’s is dogone hot — some say 117 today — though I think more like 113 –  this has been an unusually long hot summer. If it’s global warming I told Mtn Man we need to move — my sis wants me in California, but that is going to fall off into the ocean. But at least my BS in marine science won’t go to waste.

My Jason is due for his weekly visit and we will cook again together. It’s his big effort and then I make one trying to learn or watch a video game.  Also, this is the first week since the beginning of June that I have had 7 sick free days in a row. I’m afraid to say anything. And of course now I don’t want any procedures!

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