There is so little that I need to keep me happy and content. Good friends, close family, and beautiful environments are at the top of my list. That’s why I take time to really be with people, listen to their words, and hear their stories. That’s why I like to stop and take a picture when something catches my eye and brings a bit of joy to my moment. That’s why I work hard to spend time with my family whenever I can.
Throughout my years of wandering this planet, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve studied the things that drive me, the things that frighten me, and the things that make me better. When I find myself feeling anxious or uncomfortable, I often trace the feeling back to the same few core mistaken beliefs I picked up long ago. Once I get to the bottom of things, I know where to go for help. I know who to turn to for compassion. I know what to do for my soul.
Most of all, I’ve learned to keep my life simple, take care of my responsibilities, and keep up with my self-reflection. These are the tools I use to keep me moving forward on my path.
Quiet mornings when I simply repeat the mantra, “I surrender”, keep me focused on the moment. Every thought of “what if”, “I need to”, or “I should have”, are just meaningless distractions from those people right in front of me. I have so very much to be grateful for and I’m choosing to focus on that today. I work in a beautiful environment filled with an amazing variety of human beings each in their own stage of development. From toddlers to seniors, I have something to gain from every interaction I have. When I surrender to the moment in front of me, I am given blessings beyond my expectations.
Just for today I will stay focused on the people around me and enjoy all the beauty life has to offer…
It was a typical weekend full of tasks to do, errands to run, and too much on my mind. I reached a point in between things to do when I could shower and rest for a few minutes. Unfortunately my plans took an unexpected twist as I stepped out of the shower and the rug slipped out from underneath me. In a fraction of a second I fell to the floor and my instinct to break my fall with my hand kicked in. I quickly bounced back up and I knew I had broken my arm. Thank goodness I wasn’t home alone so I had help getting dressed and an escort to the hospital. But my good fortune didn’t end there. I walked in the ER and was greeted by a good friend who was on duty. “I thought I said I didn’t want to see my friends at work!” he said. His jovial manner brought a smile to my face. Next I moved into the nurses station so my vitals could be read and I ran into an aquaintance of my daughter’s. That was another delightful distraction that helped me forget how much I was hurting. The final pleasant surprise was when the doctor came in and he was a friend I’ve known for many years. How lucky I was to have so many familiar faces to help me through my rough time. How lucky I am to have lived a life connected to so many positive people. They were just doing their jobs but I genuinely felt cared about and trusted they had my best interest in mind.
Today is five weeks since I fell and shattered my wrist. Things have been different for me in quite a few ways. At first just getting through a day was exhausting. I could function about 8 hours a day then I’d hit a wall. It turns out healing takes a lot of energy. It has been stressful making the adjustments necessary because I broke my dominant arm. I never realized how weak my left hand was until my right hand was even weaker. I ha e learned to ask for help more often. I have learned to take my time and prioritize what’s really important. I have learned to pay attention to my body and push the limits just enough to build back strength. It’s coming back slowly and I’m hopeful for a full recovery. Most of all I’m glad I haven’t lost my fine motor skills. I can still type and practice calligraphy, so I’ll be just fine.
Overall, what I’ve learned from my latest life experience is that I still can’t predict or control what will come next. Stuff happens all the time that I don’t expect and I have to stay focused on a solution, rather than wallow in the problem. Most of all, I’ve practiced living life on life’s terms long enough to know I’ll be okay no matter what comes my way. Rather than allowing myself to be dejected by my current physical limitations, I will do all I can each day, and trust that it will get better. And when the next challenge comes I’ll be ready….
Sometimes my life gets too busy with all of the tasks needed to function at the basic level. Recent changes in my work life and my home life have used up most of my energy over the past few months. I’ve been caring for my loved ones, keeping basic responsibilities afloat, but drifting along too lightly with my soul. I’m being the robot I’ve trained myself to be in order to get things done. I miss my deeper self.
You see, it is my tendency to focus so much on the tasks at hand that I forget to take time to experience the moments going on around me. I’m so very good at taking care of business, and for that I’m grateful. I can keep bills paid, keep my house in order, and show up for the commitments I make. The problem lies with that being all I can accomplish. I use all my energy trying to control the outcomes of everything around me. It’s my way of avoiding disappointment in myself and from others. It’s exhausting. Lately I have found myself eagerly waiting for down time and grasping at periods when I can “tune-out” with mindless distractions. That’s how I know I’m burning the candle at both ends. My need to just be in a vegetative state tells me my head is running to much.
Well I say, enough! I’m settled enough into the new aspects of my life to sit back and enjoy them. I’ve worked hard enough to put things into place. I’ve prepared enough for what may possibly come next. So just for today, I’m going to take pause to look around me and really see the faces of the people I get to be around. I’m going to really listen to the meaning behind the voices I get to hear. I’m going to really feel the connection I get to have with the world.
“What am I doing and why am I doing it?”
I keep asking myself this question throughout my days to remind me to be purposeful in my life. I’ve spent too many years on autopilot and I want to participate more fully, experience more deeply, and love everything I do.
Although it sounded impossible at first, I’m realizing that with the right frame of mind, I can find joy in everything I choose to do. Even the mundane task of doing the dishes is joyful when I’m grateful that I have food to make them dirty or a loved one who cooked for me. The physical exhaustion and soreness I feel after a major gardening project reminds me that I have a body able to work. The time I spend helping others fulfills my human need to be connected and part of something important.
That last sentence holds the key to what is the most meaningful of all. My ability to connect with people has had the greatest impact on my feelings of happiness. It will continue to be my quest to find the most possible ways in which to be of service to those around me. I will seek opportunities to be part of the life which surrounds me. For when I manage to touch a soul of another, I am truly in touch with my own…
Sometimes things come up in life that bring about an overwhelming emotional response so powerful I have no choice but to pause. I have no choice but to stop everything and just wait until the root of the feelings is revealed. I have no choice but to let the process play out through talking with trusted loved ones, writing my thoughts, and listening closely to my heart.
It’s times like these that remind me that I still carry inside my heart the unopened boxes in which I packed away situations too difficult to handle at the time. These gifts sit on the shelves of my psyche waiting for the just right time to be unwrapped. I’ve learned to see these as gifts because once opened in the present, I get to heal just that little bit more.
Being a mother has brought about many of these experiences for me. As my child has progressed through different ages, my own unresolved issues came to surface. Sometimes I can help her through a difficult situation, other times I’m at a loss for what to do. It all depends on where I am in my own process. At least today, as an adult, I am capable of finding a solution, especially if I humble myself and ask for help.
Once again I am reminded that life is filled with constant learning as long as I choose to pay attention, keep my mind open, and stay willing to face what comes…
At any given moment, in just a heartbeat, my world can change. Life flows along, I suit up and show up for the things I expect to happen. I make plans, have dreams, and set goals. Then suddenly, without warning, there is a sudden pivot. Some external influence completely alters the trejectory of my future. Every plan, dream and goal is affected. There’s nothing that can take me back to how it was before. All that’s left is to sit and wait for what is to come.
Gratefully, I’ve lived fully enough to know that change is just a part of life. Gratefully, I’ve risked often enough to know that things don’t always turn out the way I expect. Gratefully, I’ve continued long enough to know that I’ll be okay…no matter what.