Innocence, Lost

Lately, I feel that the world is a very scary place. I KNOW you can’t live your life with utter fear, every second, but it feels overwhelming at times. Actually, you probably could live your life that way but I’m sure it

would be a miserable life with no joy at all. Sometimes, it feels like you just want to stay home in bed, huddled under your blankets, safe and warm. However, you can’t appreciate joy and happiness if you don’t know what fear or sadness feels like.

I have to talk myself out of thinking about worrying and taking chances every once in a while, sometimes I have to force myself to brave the world but I do it.  I go out into the world, at first tentatively, treading carefully, trying to be cautious of mine fields.

Now, it feels like there are mine fields everywhere. I’m sure there are millions of people who are more scared than I am that don’t even have the ability to leave their homes or rooms or beds to put one foot on the ground after another. I feel bad for them but I also can relate.

I am not joking, believe me. I think it takes a lot of courage and strength to live in today’s society.. I can only judge what I know. I know that in the beginning “baby boomer” years I felt peaceful, it was all about “love and peace and songs filled with that message.”

Now? I can’t /won’t watch the news or read the newspaper, it’s all too overwhelming especially when my daughter was traveling abroad. I felt happier when she landed and I could see her face than the entire two weeks before.

There seemed to be a bit more control way back then when I was growing up but maybe it was because I was a child instead of an adult? Maybe my parents protected me, but of course there was violence. The killings of JFK and MLK were terrible acts of violence but they weren’t so often and unpredictable like the school shootings that have happened here multiple times, or the killings of police officers etc. Why?


I miss those days in the seventies, the days of simplicity. I am grateful to have grown up in those days where peace was the motivation and simple music was mainstream, in concerts with regular guitars not high-tech with sound effects. Where people actually talked to each other instead of texting, where the phone was attached to the wall and not in our children’s hands.
The one thing I insisted on when my kids were growing up was that we all ate dinner together, no phones, no television, every single night. It gave us a chance to talk about our days.We played the “What was the high, low, funny of your day?” and everyone had to take part. I learned from my asking “How was school, what did you do” to which they both answered: “Good, Nothin.”
I knew parents who were never home to see their children, parents whose children were more attached to their nannies and had so much more money than we did. We had very little money but our family ate dinner together every single night and we talked about our days.
I knew a mom who sat her children in front of the television with”tv” trays and that was dinner, every single night, the children’s father worked very late hours and didn’t see his children much at all. Our kids once complained that they were not allowed to watch television during dinner and I drew the line right then and there.
It was less complicated back then where the gourmet ice cream was just Hagen Daas not thirty other brands where choices were unlimited and not wildly scattered like
English: Dandelions in the Tuira district of t...dandelions in the wind.
Sometimes having too many choices is harder than having limited choices, it’s more anxiety provoking for some people, more frustrating.
When I go shopping, I stand in front of the toothpaste or the shampoo aisle and just stare. How many choices can there be? Apparently too many as I stare with glazed over eyes not even focusing on which one I want. Does it really make a difference? Aren’t they all pretty much alike? Of course they are but today there seems to be a need for more and more and big, bigger, biggest and 50 varieties on one product.
I would love to go back to easier times, nicer times when the theme was Random Acts Of Kindness, how about we get that started again? Some have never stopped but many have stopped because of no income or just focusing on their busy lives. Let’s try to get on track, again. If nothing else, it will take away the fear and replace it with appreciation, it also doesn’t need to cost one cent.
 The sandwich generation, we are taking care of both our parents and our children, say “Peace Out” and “Keep On Trucking.” After all we need to keep our boomer sense of humor. It’s pretty much all we have left.
Picture of John Lennon's Strawberry Fields For...

Picture of John Lennon’s Strawberry Fields Forever Memorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Talking Out Loud: Feeling Sorry For Myself

My throat is scratchy, every time I swallow it’s like a science experiment. I feel cold even though I am under three blankets. Oh wait, I shouldn’t be surprised, we’re back from our short vacation in the sun.

We are anticipating a snowstorm with wind and ice and I’m sure the clouds can just feel me smoldering with anger and resentment, like a fire just beginning to spread quickly.

The Universe can feel that I don’t want to live here anymore, the Winters are too tough for my aches and pain, Fibromyalgia has never been my friend but it is becoming my worst enemy.

I hate having to confirm a lunch date with my best friend in the morning although she totally understands.  Will I be okay for getting up and out of bed? Can I dress myself and drive my car and meet her over salads sipping strong, strong coffee? I have NO energy and NO short-term memory. That is excruciatingly embarrassing to me, that is the worst part.

I will know that only tomorrow morning and even that is iffy. I can deal with this chronic pain disease much more easily in the Spring, Summer, even Fall but Winter? Oh, Winter is the devil of all evil, to me. He’s that bratty, bad boy, the one every grade school had who tried to make other kids’ lives unbearable, the bad boy brat that succeeded in torturing a grade.

Way back, when I was a child, we never had a “No Bullying Allowed” rule. We just had the town bully and everyone knew who he was. I can picture his face so easily in my mind as he grabbed my winter hat and threw it around the bus to taunt me.

Now, we are all grown-up, the bullies, the kids, those of us who care for our grown-up children and parents and dogs. We face problems every single day. The stress and tension are finally catching up with me.

I don’t smile much anymore. It’s tough enough to get out of my warm, comfortable bed with my dog lying beside me. Sometimes, I choose not to get out of bed. I’m okay with that.

Please, I don’t need platitudes or well wishes, I just need circumstances to change. I need a sign, I’ve been patient. Until now.

Yes, I will ask the Angels for help.

I will ask anyone for help. But, so far, nothing has worked. I’m so very tired. I want to curl up in my bed until I see that it is Spring. Things will change in the Spring, for the better. We will make it change, not now, not during the bleak, gray darkness of Winter.

The new us, starts in the Spring, 2015.

 

 

Convo With Myself, A (Changeable) Libra

I’m the first one to admit that I have often overlooked that I have options in life because I have been crippled with nervousness or anxiety. (Well, sometimes I have but not always.) Just recently, out of nowhere, the thought that I DO have a choice popped into my head.

(Apparently, this new thought has happened many times before) And, of course, I have written about this choice again and again.(Ad nauseum.)  I will try over and over until I get it right.(It’s not looking too good.)

It’s the toughest lesson for me to learn.( Really? I hadn’t picked up on that yet?)  I know it in a cerebral way it’s just not reaching my body.( oh please, what utter garbage, it hasn’t reached anything, anytime, anywhere.) Let’s face it, take the damn healthy drug.(Was there ever another option that worked?)

This may not be shocking to many but for me, it was an awakening.( yes, again for the umpteenth time.) Circumstances will change that we will have NO control over, that’s a given. How you look at those changes( I could seriously slap myself)

and how you react are things you can (hopefully) control. (slapping harder.)

After endless years of worrying, obsessively worrying, about the future past or present  it came to me in one clear moment,( I really doubt my sanity sometimes) out of the blue, (again) when I was not even thinking about it, that I can choose my reaction (sometimes, probably while medicated) how I look at my reactions given the same situation.

It’s true, I can choose to make something a tragedy or an opportunity, deal with it,  get hysterical or just let it sit for a while. (an amazing amount of bulls–t right here.)

I think meditation (last time I tried I could only do two minutes before I got antsy) and yoga ( during the class) and being aware of my breath has helped me, I try, (emphasis on TRY)  before I panic, to take a few, long, deep breaths. Inhaling slowly, ( now THAT really would relax me, oh just kidding) settling my brain, forcing it to neutral even if it is only for one minute has helped me (this part is true).

Believe me, I’m not saying it will never happen again,( ha, ha, ha) I may slip back into my old sloppy, slovenly ways sometime ( now) when I am deeply overwhelmed (as in half an hour ago) but at least now I know I have the capacity to make a choice, (once in a while) that it is up to me. I am not a victim, I am in charge of my life. (Yes, I should definitely be in charge, and NOT a victim -nice try) A trait known to many but unknown to the same amount of people, the worriers of the world, the anxious, the timid, the frightened.( I’m here, in the left hand corner with my peeps.) I can change my reactions or my ability to perceive the news( As if…) It’s not always easy, I’m the first one to agree with that but we do have potential to try. (Yes, we do have the potential …)

I take a class once a week called”chair yoga” which I absolutely love. It keeps me centered, it gives my body some exercise and gives me something to look forward to every week. Picture something relaxing to you if you need an image, anything that you think is relaxing or beautiful is perfect. It can be of your newborn baby, cheese cake with luscious strawberries on top, flowers, the ocean, anything you love that is peaceful and that brings you happiness:

English: A slice of Strawberry Cheesecake from...

Trust me, if I can do it, ANYBODY can…and

don’t judge me or anybody else…we are in this together.

Soul Baby (5 parts)

 

Dear Baby Girl Z,

Part 1

I’m so sorry, I really am. I know you can’t and won’t forgive me, how could you? I will never forgive myself. Everyone, pretty much, hates me. I don’t know what I was thinking, I guess I thought you would complete me, solve all my problems. But, I had to solve them on my own, didn’t I? I think I wanted you in my life for all the wrong reasons and I know that was selfish and horrible.

One of my friends had adopted a baby and she was the light of her mom’s life, she lived for her baby and I thought that having you would make me whole. I had to learn that the only way for a person to be whole was to be whole first.

Z, I will never, ever forget what I did to you in my entire life. Until the day I die I will think about you every day and every night.

I had dreamed about you for the past seven years. I tried to be patient, I had gone through all the legal hoops and still I waited, until finally three years ago. I finally was finished, I was approved, home inspection: check. Now the only thing I had to do was wait.

 

Part 2.

I was a lawyer hoping to make partner and every day was so busy from seven in the morning to at least ten at night. But, I had arranged everything. I had a nanny set up, a nursery, went out with friends, checked my cell phone constantly.

sadness

sadness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Every day was a possibility, every night could be a disappointment. Even the mailman, Mike, knew my situation and one day, the thick manilla envelope arrived. It was delivered on a bright, sunny Wednesday in the Spring, Mike lingered in the building to hand it to me in person. I didn’t want to share this with anyone so I thanked him and went upstairs to my apartment’s open, airy, bright chrome kitchen and ripped the envelope apart.

 

Thinking

Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn DeLight (back again))

One look at the black and white photograph, seeing your eyes, your deep, dark sad eyes and I held my breath, waiting for the tenderness to overwhelm me. I didn’t feel happy or joyful, I felt terrified and wrong. I thought to myself:’ I’m having a heart attack.’ “I was in shock” I told myself, “of course” and waited to feel the love and sense of motherhood I had longed for. This was MY baby, the baby I had looked forward to for years. My stomach sank to my frigid feet, I felt out of control, overwhelmed, out of my mind. I felt hollow inside and empty but mostly, I felt nothing.

 

Part 3.

“That’s ridiculous” I thought, “it’s just shock. I’m scared, nervous maybe and more than a little unsure.” I talked myself into first day jitters but I only had a photograph and all I could see was the pain in your eyes. I turned away, I walked to the living room, leaving the photograph sitting, turned over on the kitchen counter. The second I turned my back I knew what I had to do,  I knew it in my head, right away, right after, in my heart.

I called my best friend to come over because I was absolutely hysterical, she came but I could not be calmed down. I had made the wrong decision. I would call the agency and tell them that the deal fell through and I’m sure she would be happier with a family, one with kids…and a dog.

Part 4.

I’ve lived with this pain, this regret for many years. Why, how, could I have walked away from my Soul Baby?  I thought all I had wanted to do was be a mother, I swear, until it was almost possible. What was I trying to prove? I was in no way able to offer the love and stability of a child AND have a full-time career. I was selfish, I wanted both. But, after looking at the photo of your sad, tortured eyes, I could not do that to you again. This was not a trial run, or sweater that I could exchange in the store. This was a life and I knew I couldn’t handle it.

I broke down in tears, hysterically crying. I don’t know what happened but I could not be responsible for this beautiful, sad child. What if I was not enough to make her happy? I wasn’t sure enough if I could make myself happy. The next 24 hours were the hardest of my life. I cried through most of them. I wouldn’t speak to anyone but I knew, deep down in my heart that I could not, would not be a mother to this child. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t even know myself yet.

English: Photograph of Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophi...Part 5.

I know this much, there was no excuse for what I did but it was the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. Each morning before work and each evening after dinner, I would take out the same photo that I had never given back, look at it and said “I’m so sorry Baby Girl Z” I not only turned my back on her, I had turned on myself. Eventually I put the photo away and stopped looking at it. I practiced law full-time and yes, I was a Partner.

10 years later:

My son and daughter come running to me, I left being a lawyer when our son was born and two years afterwards our daughter. In their hands was a piece of paper and they were laughing and giggling. “Mommy, who is this?” they cried, pushing and shoving each other. In their hands was the black and white photo of Baby Z, Soul Baby, I had never thrown that photo away nor would I ever.

I looked at my kids straight in their eyes and said “that was Baby Z, she was supposed to be your sister but mommy made a big mistake, it was too early.” They didn’t ask any other questions and there were no other questions left to ask. I took the photo and gently placed it back in my old journal from years ago; this time I put it in the lock box, my husband Jim, of twelve years, smiling by my side.

 

Thursday’s Thoughts

Rain

Rain (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn (back soon, sorry for not commenting))

The rain is dripping from the sky but the sound it makes, splashing across the window, is comforting. Talking (no texting) with my son makes me smile. My husband is doing day labor work for a friend, today he is a Plumber’s Assistant and he is proud. I am proud as well.

Yesterday I talked to my mother; when my mother feels scared she gets very nasty, especially to me. Why I am her whipping post I’m not sure, but I have to deal with it better than I do. It takes me 12 hours for me to get it right and she never remembers what she says. I should know that by now but while it happens I seem to forget it and regress.

My son is about to meet with the President of his University to go over the recommendation letter that the President is eager to write for him for Graduate School. My son is a rare combination of brains and sweetness.

My daughter is beautiful and brilliant, I had not viewed her as an adult until we visited her last week. She will always be my baby in my heart but seeing her in her suite with her friends made me look at her like an accomplished savvy adult. “My baby” is all grown up. I was always known as “the little one.”I would give up anything if only I could hear my father say it one more time, with just one more hug. I miss him.

Father & Daughter

Father & Daughter (Photo credit: Enigma Photos)

When I picked up my dog, Lexi, she ignored me. She would not look at me and hesitantly jumped in the car, not with the same excitement as usual. She did not give me kisses. Once inside the house, she sauntered over to her water bowl and drank it all up, not giving me so much as a glance. After a while, I went upstairs to lie on my bed where she always keeps me company; she hid under the bed. I just gave her space. I understand getting used to changes, I’m the same way.

In a couple of hours she warmed up and forgave me for leaving her at her favorite sitter’s house while we were away. She jumped on the bed, circled around until she found just the right spot, her body touching mine and fell soundly asleep. It was a very deep sleep, she sighed with relief, I felt her body relax, she was home, we were safe, then she gave me kisses.

 

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Haiku Horizons, Empty

Ripped pieces, blood, knife

Abandoned Shoe

Abandoned Shoe (Photo credit: Auntie P)

stabbed, throttled, dark alleyways

Empty, taken, dead.

***************************************

Bare gray beach shack, left

Let's Get a Little House Down By the Beach

Let’s Get a Little House Down By the Beach (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

Abandoned with laughter, joy

*A new home for Life.

*******************************************

People weep alone

Despair

Despair (Photo credit: fakelvis)

gray tunnels of emptiness

Selfish acts of love.

*************************************************

* a new home for Alice.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Age We Are

We all age. It’s one thing, like death, we cannot change. In time, we need to accept the inevitable. We all get older and as scary as it sounds it is going to happen whether we like it or not. At some point, kicking or screaming or both we need to find peace within ourselves to accept our new, old age, our new lifestyle, that WE are now considered old.

thanks for old friends

thanks for old friends (Photo credit: Steve took it)

The trick to getting comfortable with your age? I have no idea. Once in a while I become a nervous wreck thinking about it. It usually only lasts about ten minutes at a time but when it hits it doesn’t feel good at all. Like now:

How did I get to be this old? I don’t understand. Wasn’t I just seven walking up the big hill to get to my elementary school wondering about how it would feel being old? I distinctly remember the comfort that I would not get old alone, that the friends around me who were the same age would get older too.

Junior high was a blur, it wasn’t the best time but it wasn’t the worse. It was something you had to go through to live another day. Students bothering you for your lunch money, dark hallways, new friends. Dreary, fenced in cement playground.

Then, I fell in love with high school, my sister went away to college and a new me was born. As my parents said “I blossomed.”  I adored high school, I was at school more than I was at home, in every club imaginable. Writing clubs, The New York Club, Yearbook Club, Acting, Jabberwocky Club (a magazine I, unfortunately named.)

Didn’t I go straight from there to college, when it snowed on October 2nd and finally got warm at the end of the semester for a few days and we played frisbee and sat in the sun? We had a cat named Boz.Those four years went by so quickly, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology. Parties, crushes, and one ugly hangover.

After that I was single, independent, living in my apartment in New York City, working at a good job, moved to Boston on a whim, I thought my friend Matthew was moving there, made a really good salary, convinced I would never meet a guy. I had a short romance or two. The next step was meeting a guy that for the first time I didn’t get tired of after twenty minutes.

My first love. My always love. We got married, we moved, we tried to have children to no avail and then (thank you G-d ) I got pregnant and what a miracle that was! We were blessed that after two and a half years of painful, intrusive infertility treatments, our son was born. When our son was one, we were thrilled and excited to be naturally expecting another child, another miracle, a beautiful blonde, blue-eyed daughter. I give thanks for my family every single night. That’s what love is.

If I had to pick a time when I was the happiest, THAT was the best time of my life, that time period when I was first pregnant with my son and then ecstatically with my daughter.

Luckily, we have our memories, at least most of them. Photographs too can fill in the spaces that time captured. We can all get scared of being older, it’s natural but here’s something that you can do to help: find other people you trust, and talk. It doesn’t matter what age they are. Pick up the phone, make a lunch date, reach out. Stay in touch with old friends, make some new friends. You will feel better. I assure you, you both will.

 

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Fear, My Greatest Nemesis

Scared child

Scared child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I felt the tears well up in my eyes before I typed one word. I’m not shocked, I know myself, most of the time. I was given the gift of an unexpected compliment and I broke out into a wide grin.  I wear my heart not only on my sleeve but like a red neon sign on a black night in Broadway, flashing, off and on, non-stop.

Fear is my biggest nemesis. Fear has held me back from so MANY things too many to list. But, I know It has shaped my life. I lied for fear, I changed plans, directions, walked away because of fear, stayed home because of fear. I only hid fear for my children, my gift to them.I didn’t want them to have the same life I had. I’m proud to say they are fearless. An Academy Award please. Thank you. Now, it’s time for me to work on me but it is a little more complex.

Those of us who are called “Empath Intuitives” are sensitive, very sensitive people. Sensitive to others’ emotions but also sensitive in the world we live in. It can be more of a burden than a blessing. You need to grow into it, I’ve learned. As noted earlier, a word of kindness from a stranger means so much to someone like me, it happens so rarely, but when it does you feel it all the more.

My soul sniffs out secrets that I don’t want to know but I feel them like chips of ice starting at the base of my neck and roller-skating slowly down the middle of my spine. They cannot be undone. It will be very hurtful but it will be truthful. I feel much more pain than pleasure in this sad world. Does everybody? Or does it become level at a certain age? I’d say over 50-55 your view on luck starts to change in a downward spiral or maybe the rough patches are more consistent, last so much longer and connect.

I feel someone’s pain before they know it themselves, I can’t read their minds but I can sense what is on them, what they are feeling. I’ve had this quality since I was a child. In many ways, when I was young it only served to hurt me. My family always told me that everything was my fault because “I was too sensitive.” It took many years to figure out that I wasn’t too sensitive but they were not sensitive enough. We just didn’t see things from the same lens.

I believe the answer to fear is to do what you are fearful of. What other way is there? Stare it in the face, you are the boss, not fear. I’m totally guessing here. You control it, don’t let it control you and whatever you do, don’t stop. Face fear and do it and do it until you are not fearful. Is that the only way to go? I’m assuming. Feel free to live other suggestions.

Fear, change, sensitivity, joy, kindness: we are who we are.

Be kind to one another. Take a minute to try to understand not judge.

Celebrate that.

 

 

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Plinky Prompt: Simply Be Thankful For Something or Someone

  • English:

    English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone). See all answers
  • Thankful
  • I am thankful, every single day and night, for my husband, Dan. We just celebrated our 25th anniversary together, focusing on what we feel is important: Love and Good Food. We went away to a Bed and Breakfast for two nights and spent two dinners at the Culinary Institute of America. In all these years, it seems like we blended into one person. I love him and appreciate him in every way, he is my best friend and the thought of losing him brings me to tears and I panic. I try not to dwell on it. He is the one person that I feel the most comfortable with in the world.
    Being married isn’t always easy, nobody said it would be. People stop us and are amazed that we have been married for so long. One friend told me that all her friends get married for two years at the most, they get divorced, they try again. Marriage vows are not about just “trying” they are about sticking it out and working things through.
    We are NOT talking about a pair of shoes or next year’s jean style.
    We have two wonderful (adult) children, hopefully one day they too will find the husband or wife of their dreams and will treat their marriages with the same respect, friendship and love that we have for each other.

Plinky: What’s Your Biggest Regret?

  • Bungee jumping podczas Juwenaliów Śląskich 17....

    Bungee jumping podczas Juwenaliów Śląskich 17.05.2008r Lotnisko Muchowiec w Katowicach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    What’s your biggest regret? How would your life have been different if you’d made another decision? See all answers

  • Regrets, I’ve had a few….
  • Looking back is easy, isn’t it? But, I wasn’t the same person 30 years ago as I am now, hadn’t learned enough about myself or the world, didn’t have the confidence or the drive (or the psychotherapy!) My biggest regret is not having the ability to take CHANCES in life. I say ability because I really was not able to take a chance, I was crippled with self-doubt, and fear and I could not get out of my very limited social comfort zone. I had been that way since I was a child. Back then, there were no child therapists because if there were, I would have not lost so many years of my life to being scared and always anxious and afraid.
    It carried over into my adult life too. I lied to people saying “I couldn’t go places” when it was pure, stifling anxiety. It took many years to relearn but even at my old decrepit age, it’s never too late to learn something new.
    And, as Oprah has said all along “when I knew better, I did better.” And, so I did. I’m grateful for the years that I have had the courage and not upset that I didn’t have them longer.

*Bungee jumping: JUST KIDDING