Tag Archive | time

The things I could do …


It’s true … the days are getting longer.  As we get closer and closer to summer the light is lasting longer. It’s wonderful to go to work and come home from work in the sunshine. I’m not a fan of the coming heat, but the light is a welcome companion.

And yet, even now there’s so much I want to do, need to do, must do that the days still seem short. I know we cannot extend the number of hours in a day. And frankly, I wouldn’t want to because I’d fill those up too.  But now as I see so many of my friends leaving work to retire, my mind day dreams about what I could do without work taking up most of my waking hours.

I was talking to a friend about this yesterday. She’s retiring in June and we chatted about her next steps. She’ll continue to be a chair person for some of the volunteer activities at the big tennis tournament that comes to town each year. She’s thinking about working with dogs and training them to be both adoptable as well as training them to be healing pets. What wonderful aspirations.

I know I’m just a tad bit too young to be ready for this step but I know I’m creating my list of what I’d do. I want to learn photography, volunteer in a variety of places that require workday help, pick up some artsy classes – painting or stained glass making or pottery. There’s so many possibilities. I know I want to continue with my writing. By then I hope to have my 2nd book finished and maybe working on a 3rd.

All the books I’ve wanted to read would become my daily friends. The places I want to go all over the world with people to meet, and cultures to experience would take much of my money but leave me with an investment in connections and discovery.

Yikes I better stop day dreaming for today or I’ll find myself taking a leap I’m not quite ready for if I keep this up. What are you day dreaming up if time was abounding and plenty? Be blessed!

 

Paradigm shifting … again!


Today is the next level shift to my paradigm on age and time. I remember when I realized that the new hires in my company were born the year that I started my career. That realization shifted my universe way more than any milestone birthday for me. I could see the big 3-0 coming. I could see 40 coming. I never saw “those” newbies coming and it shook me up a bit.

But today is the next level. We have an intern coming to work who will be reporting to me. And she’s the same age as my youngest child. Can it really be? In essence I am now the manager of my daughter! YIKES! I did not give permission for this to happen. I am not ready for this. I feel like I should be her friend, not her mother-aged manager! Where has my youth gone? Father time is a thief and I am not pleased. Another shift. Another mental “aging”.  I sure better retire before I’m grandma-aged. Oh, the horrors just thinking about it!

Good thing my daughter told me that I’m a “cool mom”. Maybe I have a shot at being a “cool” manager. I can only hope. I think this is a good occasion to delve into some ice cream!

Join me in a scoop and be blessed!

 

I can just be me


It is true that time heals all wounds. Of course, it goes quicker and smoother if you participate in the process. I haven’t always known that.

For me, some of the healing has taken over 40 years, mostly because of my resistance. The biggest resistance was to my birth mother and all that she represented. It not only put a physical, emotional, and mental distance between me and her, but it also kept me isolated from my siblings. The resistance was fueled by harsh memories, broken promises, blatant lies, and evil acts. So it was by choice that I resisted.

I have come to realize there were blessings which were delayed because the healing was delayed by my resistance. Now, as I let go of the anger and hurt, I find the ability to open my heart to the possibility of merging my birth identity with my adopted identity. Just making that statement brings my heart to the brink of both fear and peace. Can it really be so? Imagining a life that is converged vs. the before and after orphanage lives I’ve been living for many, many years has a great appeal.  This healing brings me face-to-face with the others who lived through the unraveling of a family. I can now see them differently and separate them from the pain of the past. In that separation I am gaining connections. One-by-one and little-by-little I am merging my history with my present. The healing continues …

Because of my faith, and my maturing, healing heart, I can let these connections in so that we all might be whole. Leonard, Theresa, Shirley, Jimmy, Charlotte, Lynnette and William deserve the healing too. The future looks different to me today. I don’t have to give up one identity, to gain the other. I can just be. I can just be … me.

God is good, his timing is perfect, and I am blessed. Be blessed too!

Emotional Rituals


A long time ago I consciously realized how much humans are a ritualistic people. I don’t think we actually measure the passage of time by the clock or the calendar, but rather we mark time through rituals and ceremonies. We create rituals for weddings, births, deaths, graduations, birthdays, wins and losses in sports, promotions, retirements, holidays, new years, and the list goes on and on. They are all important rites of passage that help us mentally shift from one circumstance to another. I believe that’s why traditions are so important for people. They are the actions that mark time and the shifting of seasons. It’s how the human brain allows things to end and begin. It helps us with the difficult shift of change.

But there’s one area of life that we seem to neglect, and that’s emotional rites of passage.

Part of my work in human resources is helping with personnel issues. I started to notice that a lack of ritual was at times keeping people emotionally stuck. It showed itself when a project suddenly ended because of priority shifts or lack of funding and teams unceremoniously and abruptly disbanded. This left people with feelings of separation and incompletion. Sometimes it was when roles shifted and people suddenly found themselves temporarily without a manager. Without warning their career support system was just gone with no idea when someone new would be coming. They felt abandoned, even though they intellectually understood what was happening. Other times it was when someone was demoted and quietly moved to other work. This left a list of emotional stuckness for the person and sometimes for the managers who had to make the decision. People can’t always articulate what is in the way for them but moving forward seems extra hard or nearly impossible. I have learned some things from these struggles and have been able to help people create their own private rituals to make the emotional shift, thus helping them mark one time as over and the next to begin. I’ve seen it work time after time.

Because of that work, I started to notice the times when I am stuck because there was no ritual. I became increasingly aware of the need to create my own private rites of passage. I have found that it has made all the difference. Here’s a few examples:

> Going through a divorce and dealing with the sudden change at home was the first one I noticed. Sure there was the court date that served as ceremony for the divorce and marked the shift in marital status. But where I found myself stuck was with the sudden and awkward emptiness in the house. The way we interacted in the space had suddenly changed and I felt like normal routines were shifting like quicksand. In this case, the house wasn’t filled with loving family helping to box up or sort through personal belongings or memories as would happen if there had been a death. It was just me and my kids, suddenly and obviously filling and using the home differently. So I created a blessing ceremony. My kids and I lit a candle and walked through each room of the home saying a prayer of peace and harmony. I reclaimed the house as my own and blessed it. That made all the difference to me emotionally and whether they knew it or not, I believe it made a difference for the kids as well. It felt like I was “moving in” to my home on a new emotional level.

> As my daughter moved to college, and later to New York for her co-ops, I knew the moves were temporary but they were a shift in my emotions. I felt awkward and alone in a different way. I wasn’t officially an empty-nester yet but it was coming in waves. So after each time she temporarily moves out I have created my own ritual. This one always starts with a few tears. For those who know me – no surprise there! They are not tears of mourning as much as sentimental tears as I do a mini walk down memory lane of the little bitty girl who I’ve proudly watched grow up and become independent. I don’t plan on this part of the “ceremony” but since it keeps coming up spontaneously I’ve learned to accept it as part of my what I need. Then I will make myself a cup of tea or glass of wine and I sit and make a list of things I want to accomplish while I have this time of solitude. I follow that by viewing a favorite movie that I have enjoyed with her over the years and I mark the ceremony as complete. It really has made the transition go more smoothly for me when I’ve done this.

> When I was selling the home that I raised my kids in, it was on the market for 5 years. I had renters for a little while, but when they moved out there was a lot of cosmetic but costly damage. I worked hard and fixed it back up to sell. Through that time, although I no longer lived there, I found it emotionally hard to go through the house in its empty state. I wanted so desperately to sell it, but it felt like the house was clinging to me. I needed to somehow move emotionally past it in order to sell it. So one day I decided to do something different. Rather than avoid the memories and the emotional ties, I chose to have a releasing ceremony. Again I walked through each room of the house. This time, rather than claiming it, I released it. I sat in each empty room and allowed the strong memories to come to me. I smiled. I cried. I forgave. I acknowledged. I mourned. It was all about the people and experiences that had taken place there. I had loved that house so completely when I had moved in. So I energetically thanked the house for sheltering me and my family. I placed a drop of the essential oil named Release in a corner of each room and left a silk flower on the window sill in the kitchen as a gift-giving gesture. I verbally and ceremoniously said good-bye to that house and with a heart of gratitude I left the house differently that day. Yes, I know the house wasn’t actually clinging to me, but I was emotionally clinging to it as my “family” home. That ceremony allowed me to make the emotional rite of passage I needed to move from owner to maintainer. Shortly thereafter the house finally sold. Was it magic – no. Was there an energetic and emotional shift there – absolutely!

Those are a few examples of ceremonies that I have created. They have worked so well for me and I’m thankful that I learned to be conscious of my emotional/mental need for ritual. I encourage you to look for the places where your heart is stuck. Do what works for you as a ceremony. And be blessed.

11:59 God


Have you ever noticed that God works on an “11th hour, 59th minute” time frame? It’s been my experience that during those times when things are at crisis mode and I’m about to give up or give in, that’s when He shows his hand.

I cannot tell you how often I’ve found myself with $1 left and a bill due the next day when a refund check I wasn’t expecting surprisingly shows up in the mail. Or another time when my son was a child and he had a mystery fever for 21 day. No doctor or hospital staff in the small town we lived in could find the cause or cure. We were driving the 2 hours back to the big city hospital for invasive tests when the fever broke and was gone before we arrived. No procedures, no painful tests were necessary.

I invite you to look for your own examples – has God been swooping in at the last moment for you as well? I have a theory as to why that is. I don’t know about you but I’m a “fixer”. That means when there’s a problem I will move heaven and earth to figure it out and find the solution. I will do research. I will pray and call on others to pray. I will call in favors or make critical calls to try to influence the people or the circumstances. I truly believe that God helps those who help themselves.

And I also believe that sometimes we have to come to the end of our physical solutions in order to fully and completely leave our problems at his feet. We have to exhaust our ego and our knowledge in order to move into a stance of faith and trust. It is from that position that we can fully appreciate that God is the only resort left. Time after time I have found myself in that postion of knowing that nothing else I can do will make a difference. And that’s when I pray at a deeper level. That’s when I muster the strength to do nothing more than believe and watch for God to move. And oh how deliciously glorious it is when He does indeed move!

So, while I hope that I have gone around this bush enough times to know I’ve learned my lesson, I am still humbly aknowledging that it is in the 11th hour and 59th minute that I see the full and glorious power of God in my life. He has never abandoned me and I believe He never will. His answers are not always what I wish for but they are each and every time, exactly what I need.

I pray that you see the glory of an 11th hour, 59th minute God in your life. Be blessed!

Reflection


It isn’t often that we find ourselves in a place of true reflection. A time of looking thoughtfully at the truths of our life. The times you did it right and those you regret to call your own. But those are the times that actually shift a life from being a routine and ordinary ticking of minutes and hours into a thoughtful and deliberate choice of change.

Most days are filled with stuff – time to take care of the job, the spouse, the kids, the animals, the bills and obligations. We float into year after year of the sameness because we didn’t stop to examine the moments of shift and opportunity. Did we even notice?

I believe that we are all coming upon a time when we cannot afford the daily drudge. It will catch up to us and we will find ourselves facing the solitary, reflective moments out of necessity, if we had not already done it by choice.

Perhaps today is the best day to slow down. Slow your breath and your steps. Sit quietly or lay still and see the movie of your life float past you. But this time notice which paths you chose and which you didn’t. Examine the cause and effects of those decisions that brought you joy and those that left you agonizing over the error of your ways.

I say these things only because I observe my own reluctance to stop and peer into the progression of my life. It’s as if the knowing will make me choose something different. Not the entire scope of my choices but some which no longer serve me. And that feels uncomfortable. Have I kept my promises to myself? Have I lived to my potential? Have I been meaningful and relevant? Have I been kind and loving? Have I been authentic?

I send you an invitation only. To take a purposeful few moments to be still. To be deliberate. To be choiceful and to amend the things that you no longer choose. Cling to those that still resonate with your spirit and know that in loving yourself enough to do this, you create a shift known only to you perhaps, but one that realigns your nature and your soul.

You Are My Sunshine


It’s a difficult thing to do – this letting go business. I’m “almost” an empty nester but most days I feel like I’m there already. My oldest, Tony is 23. While he lives at home he spends his time with his special girl, his job, his friends and those games that entice almost every member of his generation. And my “baby,” Maria is on the threshold of 21. When she’s not on campus or working at the bridal store, she’s out gallivanting around the big apple during her NYC co-op. She’s turning into the woman and designer she’s always wanted to be.

But WAIT one cotton-pickin’ minute! Who the heck gave them permission to be that old? Not me! It feels like I just had them last year. I remember the years but they slipped by so fast that it seems surreal. Did I take enough pictures? Probably not. Did we dance and sing and play enough – we sure did try. Did I fill their stockings and hearts equally well? I think so. Did I teach what they needed? I pray so.

And today I stand with my feet stretched across the chasm of change. One foot slipping on the memories of their childhood and the other firmly planted on the edge of their leaving. I’m not really enjoying the splits move in which I find myself. Ok, most days I’m just busy and don’t take note of how fast that empty nest label is rushing at me. Denial is an art you know!  But days like today, I feel every second. I want to rush back and watch one more soccer game, drive one more carload of kids, and welcome one more batch of cold and revved up teens when the football game is done. I want see one more improv  fashion show and have one more craft day. Please – just one more.

But we go on, sliding forward into the change that in inevitable. I hope my kids remember some of the sweet things that I do about their time under  my wing. And when trouble comes and they knock on my door, I’ll give them a hug and in my heart will once again sing “You are my sunshine” and rub their hair. They’ll need me once again – just in a different way, and the nest won’t feel so empty that day.

 

You’re gonna put your eye out!


Wow, I think that humongous full moon is making me all wonky this week! Have you seen it? It’s huge and luminous and gorgeous. Makes me think I’ll put my eye out with its sheer presence. It’s also swinging my emotions from left to right and giving me whiplash on the way.

Particularly I’ve noticed how sentimental I am these days. I find myself drawn to movies of times gone by and feeling nostalgic for decades before I was born.  I long for the days when time was slower and we connected with people in order to while away the hours instead of grabbing the first electronic device that’s handy. Yes, that means Little House on the Prairie is on my mind. Maybe even a bit of Anne of Green Gables too. Sappy I know!

But have you stopped and gotten sentimental lately? The stroll down memory lane, while marked with a stray tear, is mostly a soulful and joyful one. Here’s the stops on my sentimental journey this week:

* I dug up the bears that I had made with the small recorder in its paw to capture the voices of my children when they were about 10 and 12. To hear my deep-voiced son’s sweet “I love you mom” from before his voice changed stopped me in my tracks. He laughed and I cried. Yep, got a hug out of him too.

* I saw some current holiday pictures from my cousin and just had to call my aunt to tell her I love her. She’s a sweet presence in my life that was missing for many years after being adopted and trying to find my way. Glad she’s back and I’m blessed to have her. Needless to say she’s a wealth of information and just hearing her talk about my heritage, the things I don’t know or can’t remember makes me wide-eyed with curiosity. Maybe I’ll dig out that Ancestry.com family tree again.

* I ran across a picture from my early career days. It was a group shot from a dept. picnic. First let me say – I miss that young body and undyed hair! And after I got finished chuckling about the changes I’ve weathered physically (including the big framed glasses and 80′s hair), I lingered on the faces of so many colleagues from days gone by. It hit me that these people who I had seen day in and day out for several years, whose stories and family and work woes I knew so well were so very far, far away. I don’t know where most of them are, but I looked at that picture with fondness and melancholy. Hello old friends – I wish you well!

* I was in a discussion about the company I work for with some long-time friends. We laughed about the days when the “business lunch” was really a few cocktails at lunch and no-one was fired. We were secretaries instead of administrative assistants. We knew how to type with carbon paper and no-one knew what email was. Why the heck would we want to talk to someone on the computer when we could just walk down the hall anyway?

* A friend I haven’t talked to since high school suddenly popped up to chat on Facebook. It was fun to catch up but seriously, I’m realizing I have forgotten half the details of my youth. Just goes to show you that we only remember moments in time and luckily we can fill each other in on the ones we’ve forgotten. That was fun.

Yes, friends,my sentimental journey is in full swing. Join me will you? Next stop coming up soon. Oh yeah, and wear your glasses so you don’t put out your eye with that moon!