Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Empty Nest - Level Two

Empty nest refers to when the "eagle" has learned what it needs to fly and then leaves the nest for good.  I am reminded of this as my grandson, Josh, prepares to leave again to follow his chosen path in the US Army.  Flying away - yes; level two - grandson.  And I am feeling sad and happy at the same time.  I'm sad because he won't be close by to spend time with now and then.  I'm happy and thrilled for him as he steps out into his own life.

I remember stepping out into my own life at the age of seventeen.  I don't recall any family involvement in my departure.  My family had scattered five years before - no nest to empty.  I left home with no celebration or fanfare to travel to Los Angeles, catch a Greyhound bus to points east to college.  I took my most prized possession with me - a second hand portable sewing machine.  Did I feel sad and happy then as I traveled on my chosen path?  No.  Mostly I felt relief.  And I was excited about what was coming next - a totally new and different place and people. I was not afraid!

Fast forward to Empty Nest - Level One.  I had created my own nest which eventually became populated with four "eagles" - four sons.  Three of them were in the process of finishing high school in quick succession and preparing to leave the nest.  I did not handle this well.  What do you do?  How do you feel when the world you created - your family - starts to change, starts to move away from you?  They are supposed to leave the nest but I had not prepared myself for this eventual reality.  I did what I knew - I avoided feeling anything.  I just decided my life was over - even with one more son still at home. I was not operating on all cylinders.  And, sadly, I did not know how to articulate verbally or in writing how I was or was not feeling.  Each son moved on into their own life in a variety of ways.  The good thing was that it never dawned on me to get in their way.

Fast forward to Empty Nest - Level Two.  I am watching, seeing my grandson move into his life.  It's okay!  This is the way it is supposed to be.  I just get to love him, stand back and let this eagle fly.  And with another representation of my prized possession (at seventeen) I am creating and fabricating a special quilt for Josh.  It's kind of full circle.  I can enjoy this process of making an heirloom while missing my grandson.  How great is that!  I can have my tears and smile too!

Friday, January 4, 2013

OF COURSE I Haven't Blogged!

It's all about me, folks!  I am high maintenance!  And since it's up to me (100%) to determine how to "maintain" me, I have been very busy doing just that.

The fun I am having now is blowing my "stories" out of the water!  How?  Well, first I realize whatever excuse I may have to "not do" something ( and sometimes to "do" something ) is just a "story".  My human brain ( we are the only animals that think ) can and does fabricate the most interesting points-of-view, judgements, perceptions, prejudices, excuses, justifications and they are ALL just stories shaped by my particular blend of learning and life experiences.  I am sure this is true for all of us.

What is really interesting is that regardless of our fingerprint ( i.e., blend of learning and life experiences ), we all come up with some common points-of-view.  And I am not sure if this particular point-of-view crosses all cultures.  The one story we all tell ourselves is:  I'm not good enough!  And invariably this thought makes all of us feel lower than dirt!

So my first question is:  By what stretch of the imagination can that possibly be true!  It seems to me that saying or thinking that would make me feel "bad" and then I can justify a lot of behaviors that support not being good enough.

Here's where the maintenance comes in.  When I become aware of this thought of my not being good enough, I ask myself what is the story behind it?  I have to put the focus on me ( center my attention on myself, i.e., self-centered ) to find that answer.  Why am I telling myself this story again?  It's just a habit, a knee jerk reaction to seeing someone do something I cannot do or has something I don't have.

Maybe I am just tired and need rest.  Maybe I need to speak up for myself.  Maybe I forgot to eat.  Maybe I have forgotten that I am not on this planet alone.  But I am NEVER not good enough.  Besides I am not qualifed to mae that assessment and you can bet I will check the credentials of anyone who thinks they are qualifed to judge me.

So give it up!  It's just a story, a very old story that needs to be laid to rest - for good!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Granddaughter is Driving Me Crazy - NOT!

How many times in my life have habitual phrases such as this popped out of my mouth!  I used to believe that someone ( in this case, my granddaughter) or something outside of me had power over what I said or did ( they made me...., it was ___________ fault! ).  Not so anymore!

In every experience in my life I have had the power of choice.  To clarify, I will always have a choice about how I respond to each experience.  The experience itself is looks like it is being "controlled"; this is an illusion.  How I respond ( emphasis on "I" ) determines what my actions will be in response to the experience.

My granddaughter cannot and never did drive me crazy!  I chose to react in a crazy manner to her behavior.  She was in no way responsible!  Sometimes, most times, it doesn't look like this way in the world.  But if you look closely at how people interact, you will see that some use others as the reason or excuse for their behavior and some choose to take 100% responsibility for their actions and responses.  One has a hook; the other does not.

For example, today I woke up worrying about a person I loved.  They were making choices that I was uncomfortable with.  I was afraid of the effect that these choices might have on their future.  As I spent time worrying, I took my dog for a walk.  Then it dawned on me; I was choosing to worry.  I could have chosen any number of other options - indifference, anger, eating drinking or smoking at it, bullying, begging, etc.  The list is endless.

Well, today is my birthday and I am choosing to choose a positive response to my loved one's behavior.  I am choosing joy, happiness, gratitude and compassion for myself and my loved one.

I choose to love my "loved one".  I choose to pray for my "loved one".  I choose to believe that my loved one is on their path to where they need to go.  No one could tell me what path to take in my life; what makes me think I know what path is best for someone else.

And most of all, I choose to believe in a benevolent universe.  There will always be challenges on this planet.... that is what we are here for.  Our freedom comes from knowing that we can choose every minute of every day - choose how we respond, choose how we react, choose how we go forward in OUR life!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Hello, World!

I am learning how to create and maintain a blog with the guidance and expertise of my granddaughter, Sara.  She suggested the metaphor of a house to help me understand and visualize the pieces and parts and the paths of the blog site.  This is my very first blog to be posted at this site.  I am excited about the possibilities of using this to connect with my peeps.  I am stepping into the world of blogging and just barely getting my "feet wet".