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.
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!!