Sunday, September 6, 2020

Chapter 49

present. being present. here. now. 


my word for the year is present. i thought the word picked me because i've been a bit neurotic (more than usual) turning a half century. i had no idea how eckhart tollie's  podcast on being present could really come in handy. lets be real honest, not a lot of us were ready for 2020. here is the deal, i run anxious. i didn't realize how bad the anxiety was until i was prescribed medication and the uptight overwhelming sick feeling i had been carrying around the majority of my life was gone. i sought out help when my dad got sick, the antidepressants dulled all my intense feelings both negative and positive. i'm grateful for modern medicine (truly) providing me a life jacket when i was drowning in life. i have since found other ways to manage my mental health without prescription. staying present is one of them. focusing on the now, not two minutes from now, but right freaking now. disclaimer, i have not by any measure of the imagination mastered this exercise, but i'm trying. 

Chapter 49 started out great then took a turn, filling the world to the brim with fear and uncertainty. human behavior has always fascinated me. seeing peoples reaction to fear can trigger your own fear, which if goes unchecked can be catastrophic. we are currently struggling during a global pandemic and civil unrest. staying present has helped me just focus on what i really have control of, my response to right now. rather it is washing my hands or just trying to be respectful and kind. if i can focus into the moment-whatever the task is, if i can stay in that moment -- the worry of all the things, ALL THE THINGS seem farther away. before i knew what "social distancing" was my little family was doing it. when my granddaughter was born our entire clan have done everything we can think of to create a bubble in an effort to help her get bigger and stronger. when a new virus came on the scene i tried to focus on what i could do to help minimize the spread. i have even social distance myself from the news and social media because emotional viruses are dangerous too. i choose to be slow in response so i can keep my frontal lobes processing avoiding a fear based response. i try and bring my curiosity to topics i don't agree with or know nothing about and stay open to others views. i choose to wear a mask in public. i choose to make eye contact with those without masks and smile at them, for no other reason than to try and be kind because i don't know their story anymore than they know mine. 

being a seeker, i grew up asking questions and then questioning the answers the adults gave me. this was before the internet (not at all saying believe everything on the internet) and we got most of our information from encyclopedia Brittanica or your textbooks from school (yeah, you might want to reconsider some of that information too). i was told i was being disrespectful when i questioned the answers given to me. i accepted this, thinking okay i’m disrespectful but you are still trying to give me a bullshit answer because you don't know for sure and wont just say you don't know. as you can imagine i was in trouble a lot. i feel compelled to mention this was also during a time when it was socially acceptable to inflict physical pain as a primary source of discipline. when my mother told me “you can say anything as long as you use tact” i learned how to challenge others respectfully(yeah, i was still in trouble a lot). i remember being 8 or 9 years old and going to primary at the morman church and catechism at the catholic church and attended bible study with a friend whose family was Jehovah witness. at that young age i was seeking answers and was not afraid of asking hard questions. when i think about that little version of me and my burden of curiosity i realized one very important thing. when i prayed, no matter where i was, i always prayed to the same God. i still talk to Him today. thanking him regularly, asking for guidance and listening for feedback. 

the reason i share this is because when we're having our supersized amounts of emotion that feel like an internal tsunami, staying present is the last thing you want to do. if we can just stay in the now and love on ourselves during those moments; it can even help us recognize this in others, and inspire us to try and love on them too. talking to God never hurts either.

getting older...  it makes me laugh because those who are older reassure me its "no big deal", and those who are younger than me ask "do you feel old?" lol. it's all good. if i can just stay away from doing the math, i will be fine.  because the elders and the youth are right, 50 is no big deal AND it means "old" lol. 

what a year this has been. i normally take lots of pictures but this year not so much. here is what 49 looked like. 

Chapter 49 from Monybean on Vimeo.

a huge shout out to my mother who did ALL the work getting me into this crazy world a half a century ago. she was in labor with me for DAYS and i was born breech during a time epidural or spinal taps were not the norm. #mymomisonestronglady we are both lucky we survived. thank you with all of my heart, happy birthing day to my momma!!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Chapter 48

chapter 48

so here i am heading into the last b-day in my forties. as i inch ever closer to 50 i have to be real honest, i thought i was okay with fifty but i'm not gonna lie it's a huge number in my book. i remember vividly when my parents turned a half century. my mom was totally cool with it. my dad, not so much. i think that is why my sister and i got him a sympathy card that year hehehehe. seriously though, when your a kid every adult is what, fifty lol (okay maybe not too serious).

the older part doesn't bother me, it really doesn't-the math however gets me a little crazy head. i guess thats why the word "open" picked me this year. what does that mean? "not closed or barred. set as to permit passage through. to render unobstructed." like i have mentioned before, when a word picks me it usually means there is gonna be a street fight and some blood shed, because the universe is fixing to teach me something. meh whatcha gonna do. try and be open to the idea that life is temporary- and navigating in that fragility with fierce/tenderness is living. i read a meme the other day that said "you live every day, you only die once" and i was thinking yeah except when your nikki sixx from motely crue, that guy is like a cat #ninelives.

Chapter 48 from Monybean on Vimeo.

  1. this year my, oldest turned 30 (THIRTY) he would not let me put 30 candles on his cake for practical reasons
  2. finally found a skin product that works for me (not to look young or anything, just to feel good)
  3. went to see bohemian rhapsody in the theater, i forgot so many things about that era and seeing that movie sparked memories #lovelove
  4. i am still a plant killer-yeah during the zombie apocalypse i should not be in charge of the garden because we will starve
  5. ellie and i had our first solo sleep over :) one of us was way more tired than the other
  6. bought a magic eight ball for important decisions :) yes its just as fun as you remember and if you don't like the answer you just try again lol
  7. max played baseball again this year and did so great-seriously becoming quite the ball player! sidenote: my boys were busting my chops about how to keep their mother quiet at a game... bring ellie lol stinkin' brats
  8. my youngest turned 28 - i realize they have been adults for a while but for what ever reason this year i have accepted this lol disclaimer: i will still always refer to them as my boys no matter how old they get!
  9. after many weeks of bedrest for my daughter in-law (because baby elmo - a name ellie and i chose because no one knew his name until a week before he arrived- kept trying to come see us too soon) we welcomed adam to our clan
  10. max started middle school... #nowords
  11. experienced my first vip box seat dmb concert #somuchfun
  12. one carrot cake, two days before the day, three generations, loads of matches, 49 candles and i made a wish and started the last chapter of my forties

Friday, September 7, 2018

Chapter 47

2018 word is clarity. defines clarity as "clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity." states clarity is "person with a great heart and a beautiful mind. They always know how to make the other smile, and are sure to get the job done by thinking of the best plan. She knows precisely how to make others happy, feel great and is a wish come true, if you have a clarity in your life, keep her. They're the best hopes ever." i think clarity is to "see" without judgement. 

observation without judgement is a practice. i have been working on this for a lot of years. 
when you look at something-instinctivly you are trying to determine if its gonna hurt you or help you. we are hardwired this way-its survival-right? when was the last time you looked at something without judging it? i think this helps with tolerance. noticing your own response to a topic, does this light you up or is this making you feel heavy-dark and twisty before placing it into the good or bad column or the right or wrong category. 

Jim Coroce penned a beautiful song about time. music is really a gift, and how grateful i am to the artists (many who leave us too soon). Jim sang  "If I could save time in a bottle. The first thing that I'd like to do. Is to save every day. 'Til eternity passes away. Just to spend them with you." when you hear someone tenderly wanting to hold onto forever, ahhh it touches you right in the feelers. after you listen to that song you start to think about time (well, i do) and wonder what the hell did we do with all of it? seriously where did it go? the other thought is we are rarely satisfied with the time we are given. rather we be wishing it away "i can't wait until..." or wanting to trap it in a bottle like ole jim wrote.

chapter 47, ah where to begin. i think its been pretty dang good. i have a daughter in law (for the recored i have considered her one of mine for a long time but now its official and legal and stuff). grandkids are growing and getting stronger and smarter. my boys are doing well. it looked like this

Chapter 47 from Monybean on Vimeo.

my clarity
  • if i let my heart see the world, i'm less judgmental
  • if i worry myself sick it may or may not turn out how i want lol
  • i am still funny (both haha and strange ;) )
  • there are two types of people in the world. those who lift people up and those that push people in the mud. i try to be on the lifter side.
  • when i see myself in the mirror i try and overlook my chubby cheeks and chin and focus on my laugh lines (i really love laugh lines)
  • menopause symptoms are REAL- fatigue- lack of focus- adult acne -hot flashes -did i say lack of focus? 
  • if you close your eyes and just breath, it can sometimes feel like a pause button
  • life is short/long and living well is a daily practice
  • everything is temporary
  • i can't fix everything (maybe because its temporary and maybe its just not my job. and maybe that wont stop me from trying to fix stuff-i hope not anyway)
  • life gives you moments of weakness so others can be strong (i think it can also make you an idiot so others can be smart)
  • you can't give what you don't have-taking care of yourself is a critical action in day to day
  • good friends are a treasure and should be treated as such (but not in a pirate kind of way. we don't want to burying them and draw a map noooo. you might want to draw a map to help you know where they are unburied lol) 
  • sometimes all you need is a nap :)
  • we can disagree and still show respect
  • we are all worthy of love and belonging 
  • feeling messy is part of the process
  • you can have faith and have questions
  • intention can be a game changer
  • it is a process to find your truth
  • honoring your gifts bring light to the journey
  • everyone has struggle
  • we are all just bozos on the same bus
  • if you crave inspiration and you "look" for it... you will be inspired
  • everyone lies to themselves and everyone is capable of being honest with themselves-honesty can be hard
  • wholeness.... you. are. enough.
  • you are the only one who knows who you really are-don't give that power to someone else
  • the way you see others is how you see yourself-your not looking through a window you are looking into a mirror
  • having a list of what brings you joy can be life altering and you can take it up a notch just by adding to it
  • at the end of the day you can be grateful or hateful. you can decide how to sleep
  • planning your day around how you want to feel-game changer
  • getting older is a privilege
  • i am certain if i live to be old enough, my face will be deliciously wrinkled-and i will smile (with or without teeth) and have a sparkle in my eye (hash tag life goals)
staying present can be THE hardest practice (for me). there has to be lots of folks that have this mastered, right? I need to find them and hang out, maybe catch what they have. i am either planning for-tonight, tomorrow, next holiday, next birthday, next meal etc etc etc OR fall down the rabbit hole lost in the past. as i'm typing, hearing the sounds of my fingers on the keyboard i'm planning on getting up and pouring myself another cup of coffee. even when i meditate i find myself swimming in the future/past and constantly reminding myself to center in the present. its good practice though, right? stop-rewind-stop-fast forward-stop-fast forward a little-stop. you get the idea.

happy birthday to me

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

wishes - chapter 46

you get at least one good wish a year. usually over a candle on your birthday cake. since i've entered my forties i have made it a point to have ALL the candles on my cake. i used to dread them... cringe even. these days i appreciate every little flame and it makes that wish a little more, i don't know, awesome.

i make wishes regularly... holding my breath, closing my eyes and saying my wish so loudly in my head. wishing. hoping. praying.

chapter 46

i entered this chapter with physical head-splitting, arms-legs-feet-hand-numbing, can hardly connect thoughts together-pain. i took my grin and bare it attitude to a whole new level. i had a ACDF (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion) in my neck. when i woke up from my alphabet soup surgery i first wiggled my toes because my biggest fear was paralysis-toes wiggled. then i opened my eyes. my first words were "THANK GOD." the pain was gone. i had new pain because of the procedure, but the old pain-gone. just like that i felt like myself and i knew the pain i was currently experiencing was temporary. my surgeon warned me the torn ligaments would take more time to heal but that pain-deep internal pain-gone.

now i could focus on healing, and focus on my growing family. my granddaughter decided to come into the world a lot early. pain happened again, emotional pain and worry. you know what? i also had hope, pure-honest-undiluted hope. every night i find sleep wishing-hoping-praying for her, for her parents, for her uncle and cousin. i wake up grateful, knowing all those wishful-hopeful-prayers are heard and answered.

this chapter has been, good. with all that has happened, its good. every blessing counted. every miracle bringing me to my knees with gratitude. trying to take nothing for granted.

Chapter 46 from Monybean on Vimeo.

2016 my word was light. light found me, especially when it was dark and twisty. i learned the light didn't aways shine through-i had to look for it-wait for it-believe it was there.

2017 is flow and the controlling side of me is still struggling. its okay. struggle sucks, i'm far from graceful with it, but its okay. its all part of the process, right?

my wish for my next chapter.... i can't tell you that! your not supposed to tell people your wishes ;)

well, happy last day of 46 to me :)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

finding my flow...

it has been awhile since i've occupied this space. lots has happened and where to begin? i'll begin with right now, and if it feels right go retro. 2017 the word that picked me was/is flow. what does that mean? says "to move along in a stream; circulate."

my world revolves around my tribe. my tribe grew bigger and this one little girl has stressed me out to the point of break outs and has filled me with so much joy the tears fell out my eyes and ran down my cheeks. its funny how you travel on your journey and then a new person enters your life and you wonder how you ever managed without them. i have thought about this with the births of each of my sons, with my grandson and now my granddaughter. i am beyond grateful to have a tribe who gathers to celebrate and rallies in the face of adversity. life is chalk full of triumph and trouble.

when a word finds me (and right now it is flow) i am learning that it wont be easy lol. it means the universe is fixing to teach me a lesson and it is quite possible it will leave a mark. it is no secret i am a control freak-my kids make fun of this quality i possess every chance they get. i'm a dreamer, a thinker, a planner and a doer. i can be so focused to the point of being oblivious to anything else other than what my sights are on. i have been blessed/cursed with the ability to speak my mind and have always thought "just because its my truth doesn't mean it has to be yours." i imagine you are wondering how can flow be so hard? maybe its clear to you  how bumpy this road is going to be... my daily mantra has been a quote by confuctius “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” for the record i have always identified as the oak, tall, sturdy, rooted... 

my word picked me before the birth of my granddaughter and i now know why. no matter my focus, prepping or execution of plans - life will throw you a curve ball (even if you think you have planned for every possible pitch). so what do you do? cuss  a LOT, and pray and show up and be as present as you can possibly be. when my granddaughter arrived at 23 weeks i decided right then, i will love her and support her for as long as we have her. you see the doctors prepared us-the odds were 50/50... so this meant going with the flow was the only option. after 199 days in the nicu our girl is home. there are still challenges however there is more hope, and more light with every day that passes. 

being the mother of adult children... you also need to "go with the flow." i try real hard to not be the parent that gives my two cents without being asked for said "cash"... i try REAL hard (translation: sometimes i am incapable of keeping my big mouth shut). i am grateful my kids know me and they love me anyway. i am also grateful they learned the importance of boundaries and have no problem setting them with their mother.  when your kids become parents one of the hardest transitions is letting go of the role you played and finding/creating a new job description. i think one of my greatest accomplishments as a parent was influencing my kids to be thoughtful when making decisions and as they travel through their own journey my heart fills with pride when i am able to witness this. i am not at all insinuating mistakes are not made, merely honoring the process. 

flow for me (right now) means relaxing (even if its just my shoulders for a few seconds)-breathing (trying to avoid hyperventilating) -letting go (with one eye open lol). its not perfect, but it is real. today my tribe is good and i will hold this goodness close. and when the wind blows i will try to raise the sail and fight the urge to bust out the oars and start the engine :) 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

we've never been fifty before

i am having feelings about this. my older sister is knocking on fifty candles. i'm having more feelings than i ever thought i would. shit. (more like "SHIT!")

i have a confession to make to my sister. i totally took off your birthday week :)

all of my life i have been her sister. all of it. every single day. she had four years, five months and 29 days all by herself -poor thing ;). i love you maude. i'm glad you were fist, even though i didn't always feel that way :)

forty nine things:

  1. she taught me how to keep a secret
  2. she tried to inspire me to be tidy
  3. she told me i was adopted
  4. she told me she was adopted
  5. she protected me
  6. she made fun of me
  7. she laughed at me
  8. she laughed with me
  9. she stuck up for me
  10. she always got the cooler stuff (remember that glow in the dark sand thing-yeah mine didn't glow in the dark)
  11. she hated when they dressed us alike (i thought it was great)
  12. she wouldn't let me love leif garrett OR shaun cassidy
  13. she almost always did things before me
  14. she taught me not to wear eyeliner in the wet line (i rebelled for a couple of years but eventually took her advice)
  15. i was her maid of honer in her fist marriage
  16. she was my maid of honer in my second wedding
  17. she used to sing to me with a round brush
  18. she took me to my first adult doctors appointment
  19. she helped me through the awkward teenage years
  20. she helped me through heartache and heartbreak 
  21. she wished she wore glasses (i HAD to wear glasses)
  22. she wished she had braces on her teeth (i HAD to wear braces on my teeth)
  23. i threatened her, she better not want to be in a wheelchair EVER
  24. she helped me clean the house when dad thought if i'm home SICK from school i might as well do something
  25. she normalized things for me growing up
  26. she made me an aunt
  27. she sent packages in the mail when i made her an aunt
  28. she helped me be a new momma over the phone
  29. she made things "okay" just by saying "pup, its okay"
  30. she never made fun of me when i wanted to be a belly dancer
  31. she could always eat hotter food than me-always
  32. she could always cook better than me-always
  33. she helped me to be braver
  34. she sometimes loved when i would say things she was thinking
  35. she fed me spiritually when i was starving
  36. she used to steal my sweaters and shrink them to fit her
  37. she still apologizes to me about the sweater thing
  38. she helped me rise above
  39. she borrowed me her kids to manny for me in the summer
  40. we talked everyday when our dad was diagnosed with cancer
  41. we helped each other laugh during really dark days
  42. we are still amazed growing up in the same house how we can be so different
  43. we always appreciate when we notice the aspects we are exactly the same
  44. she made special trips to my house to take care of me
  45. she helps me never feel alone
  46. she gets why i burn incense in january
  47. we got to witness each other being grandmas
  48. we were honored to serve and take care of our grandma
  49. we have mostly liked being sisters :)
 we have been through lots. i love you maude! happy very last day of 49!!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

light my fire

yes, in my head jim morrison was singing "come on baby" when i wrote that subject line :) my life is a mixed tape and yes jim would be singing, probably on both the A and B side.

i have accepted in order to get light, ya have to walk or sit in the dark. walking around in the dark can be a bit dangerous, your just asking for your toes to get stubbed. no matter-growth can some times be uncomfortable and a little (lot) painful.

january i signed up for three online classes, two of which started in january. brene and jane help me live a more balanced life- feeding my need to beat down my inner critic. brene helps me see my truth and jane helps me paint it. both ladies inspire me to live my own dream. my third class coincidentally called fire starter sessions by danielle and this makes my subject line a little bit more than fabulous!  all three of these remarkable ladies talk about perfection and the importance to show yourself some serious self love. its important to take a good hard look at your story, and observe just how your participating in it. are you the victim? the villain? the vixen? the warrior? the hero? who is in the driver seat? are you facing north but wanting to head west?
are you finding joy? more importantly are you experiencing it? do you know what makes you happy? are you doing those things that make you blissfully intoxicated? are you in the dark? do you know where the flashlights are? does your flashlights need fresh batteries? do you just need to be patient and wait for the sun to come up?are you paying attention to what your good at? are you aware of how your actions are rubbing up against others? are you chasing butterflies? how about squirrels?
 and just like that 2016 has one less month to travel through. me being 10 pounds lighter, literally.  asking myself questions... and answering them :)
finding light
and letting it all in.