I have not posted in ages and that can actually feel like a disservice to me because I love writing. What I do know, however, is that I experience fallow times on an annual basis and I can say its like clockwork. I’m coming out of one of those times.
When I am fallow, I operate more on a simple ‘hermit-like’ approach where I keep to myself a little more and I allow a lot of nonlinear activity (including NOT CLEANING THE HOUSE) and introspection.
Recently I pulled an inspirational card from a deck (like Tarot Cards) and it said Hermit. My mind and my heart said…yessssss…that is what it feels like.
The card suggests that you are in a phase of introspection where you are drawing your attention and focus inward and looking for answers within. You have a strong need to understand, not just at the surface level but to really know why life is the way it is. The Hermit reflects that your consciousness has moved inward and you now realise that the truth and understanding you seek is within yourself and not in the distractions of the outside world. This is a perfect time to take a step back from your day-to-day life and deeply contemplate your motivations, personal principles and values. http://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-card-meanings/major-arcana/hermit/
What the card did, was allowed me to be ok with it and actually made me recognize that it was a phase and it was temporary and that it actually was USEFUL.
I can tell when I am getting out of that hermit-like time when I feel the urge to write and create…it just pops right back into place. And here I am writing again!
Not only have I popped back into place, I am inspired for a great change for me. I am looking for a career opportunity that allows me to work in a collaborative environment because…speaking of the opposite of hermits..I am a people person (read extreme extrovert) and have found that working from home as a solopreneur is no longer desirable for me. I want opportunities to work with people who are working toward a goal that involves creative thinking, facilitated discussions (by me!) and a process by which we can get great work done! That sounds like a good time to me right now!
I have slept less and walked more.
I have increased the number of times I’ve said:
no, sit, down, ouch, damn, you-little-shit, and stop humping me.
I suspect that my dog and my daughter were twins in another life because they both manifested these qualities as ‘babies’: smart, willful, independent, and cute-as-all-get-out. This made both of them hard to love at times. I now realize that all of those qualities are extremely healthy and desirable in the long run and so I am deciding to forgive both of them (and myself for making it mean I was not good at this ‘mommy’ job).
I’ve lost track of time while petting the pup and have decided to count it as “meditation”.
I’ve experienced the truth of the statement “you meet a lot of people when you own a dog” .
I have felt pride over the continual compliments about the puppy…as if I have anything to do with it.
I’ve experienced the rumored joy one can feel when your puppy’s body wiggles with excitement when you walk in the door: as if you’re the most important person in the world.
All of this to say, it has been a challenge and a JOY. Now that I am out of the deep fog of the early puppy days…it is safe to say:
I’m in love…for life.
As one of my dear friends has pointed out, Casey is proving to be my buddha. I am learning a lot about myself through the experience of integrating a puppy into my life.
There have been many times while waiting for the dog to do his “business” that I’ve thought of “p” words that relate to there puppy days. Here is the running list so far.
Perseverance – this word can be used in many contexts but a few are, being consistent with training; letting the pup “wine it out” in the crate; staying out in the cold at 2am until the pup decides to pee and hopefully poop.
Pee and Poop – I’m reminded of my early days with my kids when I was monitoring their ‘movements’. I am certainly motivated to witness these being done OUTSIDE. We’re not 100% there but the hope still remains.
Perfectionism – um…that is to say…I have to release it. I went in to this relationship having watched videos, read, listened to friends and family and guess what, learning vs. real life application are a lot different…and the sense of overwhelm and ‘not doing it right’ thoughts and feelings are definitely on hyper drive right now.
Puppy Breath – this one is confusing to me. Every dog owner I’ve met wants to pick up the dog and smell his breath. I smell his breath often and every day and all I smell is kibble…is that what is rewarding? OR is their adult dog’s breath so bad that their perspective is skewed.
Patience – this one goes without saying. I am learning (or maybe re-learning) what it means to be patient with such things as waiting for pee and poop, cleaning the carpets as a result of the above, and tolerating nips and barks while attempting to curb them.
Prankster – This dude is tricky and cannot be trusted (no duh! that is the job of the puppy). Today’s prank was to attempt to take the daffodil off its stem. After three redirects from me, he cunningly swiped it off and booked away from me. Ay Carumba.
Puppy Love – The cuteness factor of our dog really helps me to see through the challenges of early puppy days. I am still warming to our ‘Casey Bear’ but I do find moments where I enjoy the connection with him. This creature certainly is independent, opinionated, sneaky, smart and not easily ‘fooled’ (I could say the same of my daughter as a toddler so I am in familiar territory). I toggle between love and overwhelm. If I were to be honest, I had to warm up to my newborn babies too (which surprised and confused me at the time). Maybe that is how I roll; I need to build mutual connection, but once that is formed, I am loyal and deeply connected beyond measure.
Peaked – sleepless nights, multiple trips out for potty breaks and walks, and the constant oversight of the puppy has me a bit worn out.
I am reminded of the Little Engine that Could….
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can
In 2008 I set the intention to write daily as a self exploration, curiosity, creativity, and escape-from-boredom process. I started on/near my birthday. I truly enjoyed it and gained a great deal from the experience.
And then, it stopped and I created all kinds of stories about that. I have since let my old blog www.happinessanmoonshine.com stay ‘as is’ without updates.
Today is my birthday. I desire to write regularly again on this website. I’d like the cadence of writing I achieved back in the day.
Here’s to my 44th year (feels like an auspicious number). Here’s to renewed writing goals and enhanced inspiration.
I have just launched myself into a new role and identity of dog owner and it has been a big deal for me. I have lost more sleep and experienced more ‘angst’ over welcoming our new dog (Casey) into our lives than I did with our BIG DEAL move across country. What’s with that?
It boils down to one word: VULNERABILTY. As with loving someone and having children, dog ownership brings up tons of thoughts and emotions that can fall under the realm of feeling vulnerable. Here are my current challenging thoughts about having this dog in my life:
- Our freedom to go wherever we want whenever we want will be compromised.
- Our family’s financial security is at risk with the addition of dog-care expenses.
- The order and cleanliness in our home will change.
- What if he becomes a ‘challenging dog’ and we’ll not be seen as the fun, easy-going family we enjoy being.
- What if he doesn’t love and respect me?
- What if he dies before I’m ready?
- What if he is more to handle than I’m prepared for?
…and the list goes on. If I look at each and every one of those thoughts, they have been present for me throughout my adult life and they center around the risk to love wholeheartedly and to be “all in”. More specifically, if I overlay the decision to marry my husband (of 18 years) or to have my two kids; the thoughts and questions are essentially the same. I am so glad I took the risk with those three amazing people in my life…so now I add baby Casey to the mix. My heart is ready and the resulting love and vibrancy I’m adding to my life, is priceless.
That all being said, making a move across country, while stressful and challenging, isn’t as risky to me as opening my heart up to love. I’m glad I’ve been willing to do both though…I am loving every minute of it!
We recently move from Seattle to the DC area. The weather patterns are different here (not surprisingly). The legend is true; Seattle has many gray and rainy days. I was affected by the weather only periodically; I was a trooper.
Navy brats have to learn to be troopers. My most significant memory of being a trooper is when we lived in Keflavik, Iceland for two years (not a lot of sunshine there either). The actual country is amazing…where we lived…notsomuch. Also, the size of the base and the number of youth was limited. I actually had 10 people in my class. Needless to say, I earned a “trooper badge” for that experience.
Back to my story…which isn’t at all about me being a trooper!
So, the weather here has many many sunny days (cold, but sunny at this time of the year). Each day it is sunny I marvel at it and celebrate it as if it is my last. It’s almost as if I have a form of PTSD around losing sun (I risk belittling the REAL sufferers of this condition and I apologize if I offend, but that is the only term I can find).
Today was an unseasonably warm day…and though I should trust that there will be many more, I took full advantage by running errands and going to lunch on foot. Although I still do want to celebrate the light and the energy and warmth it brings, I also would like to welcome the sun with a sense of peace (versus fear of loss). That day will come!
I am getting my comeuppance in terms of all the help my mom gave me in paper edits “back in the day”. She was an English major, therefore when you asked for help…you had better be ready to see ‘blood’. Red marks on every page…and down the margins.
I have to say though, through her dedication and a smattering of great English teachers, I became a solid writer! That came in handy as I went to a writing intensive college and then to graduate school where many a paper and iterations of a Thesis were composed. In essence, this blog can be traced back to those days (minus the red ink; it isn’t advisable on laptops).
Back to my point. Tonight I was asked by my daughter to help her edit a paper, and after I was done marking it, the abundance of red ink launched me into a spiral of memories. I can still see the clunky desktop and hear the dot matrix printer run it’s lines (shudder).
My daughter takes to my help much like I did with my mother’s; in the end, she was grateful, but in the middle there was tension and maybe a little overwhelm. I hope that perhaps there will be a legacy of good writers based on what my mother started. If not, at least the red pen industry will get a boost every once in a while from this corner of the globe (stimulating the economy, one school paper at a time).
Thanks Mom! (that is what I heard tonight and that is what I say to my dear mother).
Today is one of those days that I had many serendipitous moments. One that stands out most is that I got a call from out of the blue from someone whose business card resurfaced, just yesterday. When she said her name…my mind said…”of course you’re calling”!
I love these aligned events. I get such a kick out of them, and if you talk to any of my friends, I have them often. In fact, just a month ago, I saw someone fixing a flat tire and then minutes later, I GOT ONE! I’ve been experiencing this phenomenon a lot in the last 4 years and possibly before, but I wasn’t paying attention.
Part of me wants to read into all of the magic moments to see if I can predict my future path. I actually do think they are hints, but at the moment, I am not meant to know what they lead to.
And really, since I hold the phrase “it’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey” as truth, then what would be the fun if some of the guessing was left out.
I think the biggest lesson about all of this is that PAYING ATTENTION is a beautiful thing. That Kool-Aid I can drink!
I have taken to keeping a very small record of the activities of the day and what I am most grateful for in that day. Almost like the ‘Twitter’ version of my days.
I am feeling as though I would like to have a written evidence of the life I am living and have lived. Nothing profound is really found in the words, but it shows a life lived; I guess.
My next interest is to back track and find a simple way to reflect on the years I have not recorded. I have written journals, a few blogs, and Facebook to help me generally recall the details. These writings will likely become physical books for our family (thank goodness for websites that do the ‘publishing’ side of things).
I am curious about the “why this?” and “why now?” of this project. Maybe I am uncovering a desire to help others record their ‘lives lived’ and I want to “live it to give it” myself. Time and effort will reveal my ‘what’s next’ with this new habit and reflective interest. My hunch is that only good can come from this…and I love that!
My extended mental back and forth on whether I should write or not, and how often, and for what purpose and for whom and back around again has gotten veeeeery tedious to me. I feel like throwing up my hands and saying ENOUGH ALREADY! But that doesn’t really solve the problem. If I say WRITE ALREADY…well that makes some sense.
My job now is to allow…the words, the time, the flow and to be ok with the not knowing of the for whom, and for what reason and the for how long….that will come in due time (or not).
Curiosity, connection, creativity, learning, authenticity and fun are my biggest values at this point in my life. My writing and photography are natural vehicles to explore and share these values in a highly meaningful way…to me! If I believe that doing what I love is the conduit to having the life that I love….why the heck have I created a spin cycle around my writing.