Sunday, October 6, 2019

Reminders of Everything

Gary just asked me this week, why I haven't written a blog post for a while.  So, here it is, the post I want to write.
I judge myself with this post because here it is folks, bright and clear with a megaphone - I am struggling with grief to accept that my Mum has gone.

I thought I was an expert at this grief thing, and I knew I would find it hard, but not this hard. Reminders of everything are constant.

Here is my learning from all of this, that loss is cruel, that illness is cruel. It doesn't care who you are or what you have. The last year of my husband's life ripped what I thought was my American family, apart. It chewed my heart into pieces. The last year of my mother's life was basically her suffering from a lack of money to get her an operation she needed. Money!  This is shaming on my soul. I will never forgive myself for not doing enough, in the same way, that I will never forgive myself for agreeing to treatments for David in his final year. The guilt will always be with me.

Now, what's the point of this post?  It is not to ask all of us to be grateful every day, to love our family and friends, to cherish the moments because quite honestly, sometimes we are good at that and sometimes we just aren't, because we are human beings. We are not miraculous saviors. I wonder how many people have drowned trying to walk on water?

The point of this post is to say that part of living is living with this guilt and loss.  Living when it is hard.  I do not feel sorry for myself, what I feel is the loss and the lack of.  The point of this post is to agree that every single one of us is dealing with something and we need to value one another and appreciate our aching hearts that continue to beat. We are made up of many things and all of them are important, not just the pretty feathers, we are also about the guts and claws. Living with my husband's illness gave me patience and death has given me a deeper appreciation and even courage in my life, but it has also created deep anger and sadness, which I must accept is part of me.

So for everyone who rolled their eyes and said here, she goes again, ranting about grief and didn't even read this to the end - shame on you for your lack of compassion and heart.
For everyone who said - I feel the same way, then my heart goes to you and I say please, please be gentle with ourselves. It takes effort to reach toward being OK.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Happiness while juggling slippery monkeys

I read today on Facebook, a simple statement that said: My Super Power is Happiness. It struck such a pleasant chord with me for its basic simplicity. As it can be tiring being courageous, bold, assertive polite, awake, open, confident and every adjective that we read about under the heading of self-improvement.

Life is busy and at most times we are all juggling many slippery monkeys. (Now there's an interesting novelty act for the TV show "Americas Got Talent.") We are also responding to said slippery monkeys, with our very many layers of personality. I have mine, beginning at: "You can trust and rely on me, I've got this!" Ending at the whimpering, "Please like me, I'm fifty-three and I'm nice!"

I am expecting a lot from myself at the moment, as I navigate through uncharted waters. A new job, a new home, and a new bereavement. Yet somehow on top of that list, I expect myself to do it all looking and feeling like a woman from a shampoo commercial who can also cook, run and teach "Vinyasa Namaste Hot Flush Yoga." Is there such a thing? There should/could/would be such a thing!

So, instead of reaching for the top shelf of superpowers, how about we grab the one named happiness? Because quite frankly, to feel any type of joy or contentment while you are handling slippery monkeys, is an achievement in itself. It is also one which will grow and build quickly. Just try it right now by thinking of three things you feel grateful for. It is exciting for me to feel the change in myself when I look at my situation from a place of gratitude. My shoulders ease and I can see and feel the buds of hope. I like that place. It's like the spring, where it all begins.

Be good to one another. We are all we have.

Always with love and running down a hill with arms open wide,
Jayne


Friday, June 14, 2019

How to make a Decision

As we live our lives there will be times that are more dramatic than others. Times that are more romantic, or exciting, or dull, uninspiring, surreal, beautiful, tender. The words of what we go through are endless.
Our reaction to all of it can also be endless. We panic in excitement and we panic in fear, and both have the same energy.

Our reactions create a domino effect and when in fear, before we know it, we have bought a one way ticket to the jungle with a pair of flip flops and a National Enquirer as our guide for healthy living. (If you are reading this blog while at the airport doing just that, good luck!)

Alternatively we make a decision to do nothing, resulting in regret and a lack of trust in our ability to lead our own lives.

Our lives continually beat with issues and opportunities to make choices.

Making decisions with your thumb heavy on the panic button is clearly not a good idea.
Stop, wait, reflect. Do not send that email. Do not make that phone call or purchase that extra pair of skinny jeans. Wait and keep checking in with yourself. Your own gut (perhaps even soul) may be telling you what to do, and you will never hear it if you pay attention to the barking orders of everyone else, and I include your own negative chatter.

Most of us are waiting for something. To make the right decision, to receive the good news, the bad news, the news that changes things. We wait for results, the phone to ring, the lights to change, the paint to dry or the kettle to boil.

We wait and within that waiting our brain will trigger all kinds of fireworks to grab our attention and for the most part, those colorful bangs and flashes will provide incorrect, negative, fear based information.

If you are going through a whirlwind right now, please, please stop, lose the struggle and the fight, let go, run down a hill (even in your mind) just for a moment, outstretch your arms and ask for guidance, because I truly believe only calm thinking will provide us with the right answers and not the fireworks that can create a battle.


Monday, April 8, 2019

Cushions

Forgive the posting below of an old blog I wrote over two years ago and never posted.
It seemed too light when I wrote it and yet two years on, I have become the customer.
The person, among many I'm sure, who this Sunday left out their brand new outdoor furniture cushions believing it would never rain again in New England. Why?

Here is the blog....................

Since March, one of my part time jobs has been for a popular, slightly expensive, upbeat, home furnishings store.
I wanted something fun, relatively easy and within an environment that was beautiful to look at.
The George Clooney Store does not exist, so I am happy to be where I am for now.
This one level store has divisions such as dinner ware, candles, furniture. The place I dread and fear and laugh the most in is...wait for it........cushions.
I call it Cushion Land.
Here is where I find sweat, blood and tears as customers armed with measuring tape, fabric swatches, magazine clippings, Valium and discount coupons spend the most time.
Five minutes to choose the furniture and five hours with five visits to choose the cushions.
I've heard the most arguments in Cushion Land, especially when one person dares ask the two questions you never ask a cushion lover - can't any cushions just stay outside and who really needs cushions anyway?

Here are my top ten favorite Cushion Land comments and questions:

1) Will my dog/cat eat it?
2) Which season is this suitable for? (Yes people actually change their cushions according to the season.)
3) If I put a circle with a stripe with a plain and a round, do you think that's too much?
4) How many cushions become too many?
5) If I only have three cushions will I look cheap?
6) What angle will the sun fade them at the slowest rate?
7) I have a eight footer with a four inch depth, what do I need? (People literally fly at you with that question, before even mentioning that they are discussing their sofa and cushion requirements. You can only imagine the answers I have longed to say.)
8) Can my outdoor match my indoor, and can my indoor become my outdoor?
9) Do you have this one, only one inch longer and no big flowers, why such big, big flowers? (I agree to this point, its like plus size dresses always have bloody big buttons, frills and no sleeves - why????)
10) I bought two cushions about three years ago, and I loved them, but I want to get new ones, only the same, but cheaper and perhaps larger, yet colorful, in fact more colorful, do you have them still?

The largest return to store item is cushions. I see customers finally leaving with bags stuffed with hopeful cushions, to see the same faces only this time, downward glancing holding the very same bags, yet this time not bursting with so much hope.
It is a constant reminder to me how much importance we place on material things.
When a cushion becomes a main focus in my heart, I may want to question my choices.


2019 UPDATE
Now these brand outdoor cushions just purchased on Saturday are hanging drenched on the porch, looking like Florida went on a bender and may never be the same again. The first person who tells me - you can get water proof outdoor cushions will receive free advice from me for a month that will only be effective if you live in Sarcasm Land.





Thursday, March 21, 2019

For Paul Stickney - and of course his brother David

Here's a tough post to write.
Last Sunday, Paul Stickney, a favorite actor and friend of many died following complications from surgery.
Tributes are flooding in, wonderful stories, photographs and a general feeling of hard shock floating through the community he worked so passionately within.His passing was not expected, far from it and that flush of hard reality keeps hitting.

So here is my tribute to say thank you Paul.

Within this last year I truly got to know you and see your talent, great wit and huge heart in action. You welcomed me so warmly and grandly into your life. You were gracious in your feedback to me of my work, always incredibly encouraging.
You made me felt like I belonged, that I did a good job. You pulled me up if ever I started down the needy actor road, you reminded me that I was human and you inspired me to be bold. I liked that!
i would watch you work and admired how brave you were to create a vulnerable character while being physically so present and demanding - it was quite brilliant and a creation you owned.

I had an ambition, unfulfilled, to make you laugh, to impress you. I would feel a flush of pride when you said I made Mrs White (my character in Clue) come to life AND I have a favorite memory of you encouraging me to repeat in my Mary Poppins accent, the title of an XXXXXXX rated movie, just because it made us both laugh until tears rolled.
The Stickney Brothers have the best stories.

Always, always, always after every performance we would have a hug, check which date we were working next together and say I love you.
Now everyone reading this - take that on board for a moment.
There is a reason there is a great outpouring of love for Paul and his amazing brother David.
There is a reason that their community and family are shaken this week, and will be for quite some time.
There is a reason we must, must take care of one another. There is a reason we will support one another in tears AND laughter.

I sat eating cereal from a box tonight, feeling crap and it's simple - it's because I will miss you Paul, really, really miss you and I don't want anyone you know to hurt.................and then I hear a voice say...................
"Cereal????? Wow you should have gotten something better than that girl!"


Thank you.








Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Solution to The Impossibly Complicated

Seems there was a lot going on today, emotions, issues, blood pressures, technical problems.
Even the mighty Facebook could not keep up. The only posts that were clearly coming through were statements of "is anyone else experiencing issues posting today?"  Plenty of people discussing the effects of mercury retrograde and plenty of people feeling the frustration and tiredness. That desire for change when it feels like everything is impossibly complicated.

After a non tap dancing day and feeling many emotions for many folks who are going through decent, qualified troubles, I came to a simple resolution. Just stop.

We all work so hard to find the right answers, the solutions that will solve everything. If I send the best resume, if I write the best post, if I sell something, if I buy something, if I eat less, drink less, go visit, go walk, go tap dance, go, go, go. Sometimes nothing we try seems to work.

Sometimes the best thing to do is just to be there. We can't do the physical operation that our loved ones need, we can't convince someone that we are best for the job or that we can be the loved one they are looking for or that we deserve the rise, the new home or the new toy. Whatever.

Just be there. One hundred percent, but in peace, with love. Be there, but with yourself, and here is
the component that is harder than love, to be there with trust. Trust.

Trust that you will find the strength and the energy to find the best way to handle whatever is in front of you. Trust that the support and guidance will appear. Let go of all the stories from the past that are jumping up at you to over burden you, when you are already juggling enough as it is.

Block out the voices that want to give advice and their version of what you should do, or those that enjoy the opera singing about what they did and how they feel. Me, me, me me, me!

Everybody stop. Just stop. If everything is spinning around you, adding to that motion is not going to help.Go easy for a while. Let pace reflect you, not the other way round. Stop. Just stop.

Friday, March 1, 2019

National Women's Month

Today begins National Women's Month where we celebrate and pay tribute to female figures in history who have made changes. Who have been empowered to stand up for their beliefs for the better of others. People amaze me.

I send a virtual hug to all the women in my life, starting with my Mum, my first feminine influence and onto all the family, soul sisters, mentors, heroines and female figures that have inspired and guided me.

For the most part, this world does not allow for grace. Self respect is not taught. Yet without it, I feel our choices can become a spiral into an endless pit that does not have a pretty exit door.
So the fact that there have been women who have still pushed through and succeeded with remarkable tenacity despite what may have been surrounding them, demonstrates the power of the human being.
I often thought, ahhh but that's them, I can't be like that. I was wrong.
What did they say when Mother Teresa was born? They said - it's a girl.

As well as recognizing the famous leaders this month, I want us all to celebrate the women in our own lives who make a difference. I know of friends who are business owners, travelers, writers, young mothers, actors, painters, care partners, nurses. I have those laying in hospital beds, those walking with a cane and those who run every day to feel good. Female friends who teach, laugh, love. Who have the courage to say I went wrong, I hurt. I cry and therefore I grow, and therefore we grow.

We all have remarkable within us and I want to use this month as an additional focus to pay tribute to those fierce, feminine hearts who spark the fire and are bold enough to dance within those flames.
I look to you for my own inspiration and energy. THANK YOU.

Reminders of Everything

Gary just asked me this week, why I haven't written a blog post for a while.  So, here it is, the post I want to write. I judge myself ...