Yes! It’s Tuesday! I got married on Saturday. I’m still catching up on sleep.
We had a small ceremony with family here at home. A very dear friend officiated. It was very nice. It was a lot of work in the days ahead of the wedding even with all the planning we did. And trust me, I planned. And there was so much food! It was busy but it was a good day. And now I am married to my best friend.
The weekend also marked the end of my first term back in college. I am attending Southern New Hampshire University. I have tried college three or four times. It was always for the wrong reasons. It was to fulfill someone else’s expectations for me, or to prove someone wrong, or I was taking a program someone else would have approved of. This time around is different.
I’m studying creative writing with a focus on poetry. This time is all for me. I’m actually excited for school. It feels weird being in school again at 49 years old. But it feels good this time. I’m not stressing about it like I used to. And the writing is not the only area where I’m feeling creative these days.
I’m finding myself looking at my yarn stash and seeing completed project ideas. Drawings of those ideas are starting to take up residence in my sketch pads. And the more I draw those out, the more the itch to paint again grows. During the cleanup from the wedding I got all of my yarn organized. (I have a lot of yarn!) I also organized my work spaces so that I have an art/writing space that has more room and access to a computer, and a crochet space with a chair and room for my project bag.
It’s been a good couple of months. I even managed to write a couple of poems in all of that chaos. Now that everything is settling down, I hope to get a lot more done in between classwork.
The one thing more important than location is timing. I find it odd that I keep stumbling across bits of conversation in social media threads that lead me into lines of research I might not otherwise follow. Something about a particular phrase or statement will start me thinking about something in my own experience and then I have to start connecting dots. So I ask more questions and look for answers in more places. I turn 50 this year so I’ve been doing this for a long time. I can research the hell out of something once I get my teeth into it. If I don’t like the first round of results that I come up with, I change my search parameters. And I’ll keep doing that until I feel like I have satisfied the question. Even if I don’t like the answers that I get.
The questions are not always easy. And the answers are not always ones that I understand on an emotional level until I have had time to digest them. I’ve discovered a couple of pretty significant things about myself lately. One through conversations with someone close to me, and the other because I followed one of those rabbit trails on social media. I do not regret following either of those paths. A lot of the questions I had about myself growing up make a lot more sense now. Those were the types of questions that follow you into adulthood. Linger in the back of your mind and cast doubtful shadows over all of your decisions. Sometimes following the rabbit trail…
…leads you into the light.
A thousand apologies for not writing to you for almost six months. We have had so much happen in the world since I was here in September. I’m not going to rehash all the politics. My blood pressure is good this morning. The weather is drizzly and foggy where I am but it is almost spring. I can tell without a calendar because my allergies are off the charts. I’m hoping to get my vaccination soon. I’m still working from home and honestly I’m fine if it stays that way. Or if I win a lottery. Whichever.
I’ve been busy crocheting critters for friends and family. And planning a wedding for June that we plan on live streaming. Only the family in attendance and one set of friends who are also vaccinated. We already have my partner’s clothes, vest and kilt. My dress should be here shortly. Now that the weather is improving (today’s rain not withstanding) we are getting ready to start on a patio in the back yard where we plan on having our ceremony. My soon to be sister-in-law will be officiating our handfasting. And I am making the cake. Keeping it as simple as possible. I don’t see the point in spending a ton of money. Except on the patio. That we can keep using.
I have a project board started with drawings and movable pieces for the yard. We have our size and it’s scaled to fit the patio, trees, where the cars will be parked. Room for the tent we’re renting for the wedding. Can you tell I’m ready for the wedding and this patio? My OCD kicked in once we started planning. I have a three ring binder of notes and pictures. This is a second wedding for both of us. Another reason we are not going very big. Less drama. We’re doing what we want on a scale we are comfortable with. More people should do that. The divorce rate would probably be lower.
I hope you are all ready for spring. I need to go through my Pinterest boards and figure out what flowers we are planting putting in around the patio. Need to do something to work with our wedding colors. Don’t worry. I have lots of ideas…
My nerves have been a bit frayed today. For all sorts of reasons that I’ll spare you. Several times today I’ve been tempted to put on my headphones and blast some heavy metal music. Just block out the world. But something always stopped me for one reason or another.
Finally, I reached my limit tonight. I put on my headphones and found myself not with screaming guitars in my ears but a familiar meditation playing. I like Native American music for meditating. Drums and flutes, mostly. It’s either light and airy or deep and earthy. Sometimes with the tinkling sounds of water or the rumble of thunder mixed in.
I let the music play while finished what I was stitching on a crochet project for the day. A new design I’m working on. I drew it out this morning and started on it after breakfast. It’s coming along nicely. But I needed that music tonight.
I haven’t meditated in way too long. I learned how several years ago after the death of my mother. It’s what got me through it. Helped me through a lot of emotional upheavals. Not sure why I hadn’t thought to do it before now. Caught up in all the news broadcasts I guess. That whole “not seeing the forest for the trees” thing.
Just the little bit of time I was plugged into the music seemed to help a bit. It’s important to take time for ourselves and to focus on our mental health. Especially now when the entire world is in an upheaval. There is so much stress over every little thing. Remember to take a deep breath, don’t hold it. Relax your shoulders. Give yourself a hug.
It’s supposed to get close to 80 degrees today. I’m taking my boyfriend to the park. He’s new to the area and hasn’t been there before. It’s going to be a pretty day. But really, 80 degrees in February? Enjoy the sunshine when it comes. Enjoy the rain, too.
Make the most of whatever comes your way. Being happy is not dependent on the weather. It is a choice. I realized this a long time ago. Some people are miserable no matter how good things may be in their lives. Job, home, car, family, friends, food, clothes, kids, pets, vacation. They can have all of these things and still not be happy. While there are people who may not have half that and be happy all the time.
Some people seem to enjoy complaining. They enjoy finding the negative in a situation, in other people, finding something to degrade in other people. I’ve found that it means they are usually unhappy about something with themselves. It’s not something they would ever admit, not even to themselves late at night after a lot of drinks. But I can tell when I look at them. It’s written all over them. They wear it like an old coat that smells of moth balls and mildew.
Make a choice to look for the positive in each situation. Choose to make the best decision for yourself regardless to what others think. Choose to be proactive with your own happiness. Finding happiness can be a lot closer than you think. Yes, this is February. Let’s go dance in the sunshine.
Don’t get your panties in a wad. I’m not talking about diverging arguments on the origin of life. I’m talking about how we change as people. Maturity comes with time and experience. Note I didn’t say age. You can be in your 40’s and still act like a 12-year-old. I said maturity, all the changes you go through (hopefully) as you experience life and learn how to interact with other people.
Think back to the person you were at age 9, 15, 18. Are you the same person now? I know I’m not. I have learned so much in those years since then there is no way I could still be the same person. Experiences in life change us, whether for better or worse. If you become a famous writer, would you want new readers to know the person you are right now? Or do you want them to judge you based on memories of the kid who sat behind you in English class? If you meet someone and they talk about how a person was in high school or college, there’s a really good chance that person is nothing like they are now at 30, 35, 40 years old.
Whether we like it or not, we judge other people. Everybody does it to some degree. We learn to judge because we learn to make comparisons. As little kids we are open to everything and absorb the world like a sponge takes up Kool-aid. Then we start to compare things. Do I like the blue one or the green one? We may not understand our choices but we make those choices just the same. As we get older, we realize we love blueberries but we hate green apples. Green apples become evil. We judge them. We look down on them. But there is nothing inherently evil about green apples.
The same thing happens with people. We may not like certain behaviors so we vilify people who exhibit those behaviors. But people change. You can’t judge a 40-year-old person you have never met based on the opinion of someone who knew that person when he/she was 16. Well, you can judge that person but how is that fair to them or yourself? You limit yourself when you don’t do your own research and form your own opinion without bias.
We all have our own behaviors that others might find strange or disagree with. Does that mean our behavior is wrong? Does it mean the other person is an asshole? Why does it even have to be an issue? In order to grow as human beings, stop judging people. If you don’t want to get butthurt every time somebody disagrees with you, stop worrying about what other people think. Learn. Research. Study people and life and behaviors and the universe and everything else. Then form an intelligent opinion without bias from somebody else. That is maturity. That is evolution.
How comfortable are you? No, not your chair. In your skin. When was the last time you tried something new? How often do you step out of your comfort zone? Having a comfort zone can be a good thing. It’s where you feel the strongest, safest and most comfortable. When you feel secure, you have more confidence.
But it’s not always a good thing to be that comfortable. It can lead to a rut so deep you may not realize you’re in it. That can lead to boredom, missed opportunities, a wide posterior. Sometimes we need to step out of our comfort zone. The fear of making a change or trying something new can become monumental if allowed to grow unchecked.
So how do you tell if you’re stuck in a rut? For starters, pay attention to how many times you opt not to do something. Why are you saying no? Is it always for the same reason? Are you too set in your ways to get up and do something? Also pay
attention to how often you chose not to do something that you use to a lot of. When an old friend asks you for a long overdue lunch date or to go for coffee, are you saying no because you’ve had too much coffee already or because you just want to go sit in your comfy chair and not move? Do you find yourself saying, “I’m just too set in my ways” or “I’m too old for that anymore” or “maybe next time?” Pay attention to when and why you say these things. It could be that you’re trying to avoid stepping out for some reason.
We all get tired. We all have days we just want to go home and not deal with the outside world for a few hours. But we all need human contact. We all need to get out in the sunshine and enjoy life. Don’t be afraid to put on some sunblock and step out the door.
Most of us have had some experience with loss. Fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, deaths of loved ones, deaths of relationships. Loss comes in many forms. Sometimes the healing is fairly quick. But some wounds are deceptive in how deep they really go. You may think you’re over it, but then something new happens and you realize that there are some lingering issues. What do you do?
I’ve realized over the last few days that I have some leftover damage from a past relationship. So what am I doing? Sifting through the ashes of the past and looking at what’s happening and what I feel about it. Here’s the truth of it: the other person in my life now is not doing anything different now than he was when we started this whole thing almost a year ago; his behavior is consistent. I’m the one having issues. I’m the one having doubts and second guessing myself.
Wait….did I say “I” was second guessing “myself?” Yes, I did and that’s an important distinction. I recognized a few days ago that the problem is that I’m afraid. It’s truly not anything the other person is doing. I’ve struggled for a long time with fear of failure/success. It applies to relationships, too. I’m just now realizing how much it applies. I’m afraid of making a mistake, afraid of losing someone that’s important to me, afraid to trust him because of the behavior of someone who is long gone from my life. That’s not fair to me or to him.
Okay, so what do I do now that I’ve dug through the ashes and gotten my hands all dirty? Wash away all the residue of the past. Let go of the emotional baggage that’s weighing me down and just enjoy myself and this relationship for what it is. It’s not easy, but it’s worth the effort.