Just a happy little waffle today, sending a smile and a big hug your way.
Actually, I am going to write a bit and dig deep on this special day, my birthday, that might seem ordinary to me, because I know it has a lot of meaning to some people in my life. It’s true and I don’t feel like celebrating much, but I am going to push the lingering cloud to the side and remind myself to be grateful for having reached another year. A privilege denied to many. Today I count my blessings, and there are many. I might wake up or don’t sleep well due to chronic pain, but the main thing is that I get to wake up and see another day. Each day brings a new opportunity to try all over, to get it right, to start anew. Again, not everybody is this lucky.
Today I remind myself that I am much better off than many. That the universe and my guardian angels have always blessed me and that in the end, no matter how hard, things have always work out. Today I give thanks to the ones close to me, the ones that love me, the ones that help me without ever complaining, the ones that share the ups and downs with me and the ones that lend support. And yes, this includes you my dear readers. You know who you are. I love you. 💙
Birthday week always leaves me a little uneasy and feeling blue. For many years Mom and I celebrated our Birthdays one day apart, hers on the 19th of July and mine on the 20th. I still hear her telling me that I should have hurried up coming into this world so we could have celebrated on the same day. In many ways it always felt like the same day, one (two) long day (s) rolled into one celebration.
Today it starts and it’s Mom’s birthday. It’s the second year since her passing and birthday week has not been the same since. It brings pains and sorrows, a love unexpressed although I talk to her often and she is aware of what’s in my heart. My own birthday has changed too, and I’m the one still here, the one left behind. A shadow lingers no matter how hard anyone tries to make it special. Sadness creeps up and the memories are still bittersweet. It’s hard to be happy and carefree, hard to enjoy your special day when you are still missing the one that used to be such a big part of that day. Perhaps it will always be this way, until the end of my time now.
I marked the picture above as one of my favorite pictures of Mom (on the left). It was taken in 2018, celebrating her birthday at her favorite medieval castle. She was already in a wheelchair but thanks to family and friends we made it possible to take her out of the nursing home for a special celebration. I wrote about it before but this picture has something else. Something exclusive to me. It was the look on Moms face when I look at this picture. Blame, anger, hard feelings towards me, disbelief, disgust, unworthiness, it all had vanished in that moment and transformed into love, forgiveness and gratefulness. I can see it in her face and it is a picture that speaks a thousand words to me. She never had to tell me and yet I knew how much that day meant to her. And because of it this day will forever be special to me and this picture will always be one of my favorites.
Happy Birthday Mom, I still miss you, my mind still talks to you, my heart still looks for you, but my soul knows that you are at peace and relieved from all pain.
The pain body was reaching havoc last week, leaving me in pretty bad shape. When it happens it’s always on the emotional level as well as the physical one. It’s almost what I would imagine entering a state of depression must feel like. I try to understand the lesson (s) and you’d think that now that I left a toxic life behind, and can pursue my most authentic self, now that I have the freedom to do as I please it would look much different. At least I thought it would…and ahhh…there it is, did I set myself up for failed expectations? Another root evil I won’t get into right now.
In all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect and I tried to go with my own motto of going with the flow, let life develop and unfold as it must, but deep down we always hope for the best and see things through rose colored glasses, don’t we? Sometimes it induces us to hold expectations even if we don’t do it via the direct route. We don’t see things for what they are while we yearn for different and can’t stay where we are. When we feel the need for change and a time of transition. Staying at the same crossroads becomes unbearable and anything has to be better than this, right? It might be so but seldom is it perfect, and seldom do we step into a perfect new situation. New challenges and problems await, even if they are different, they still share the same familiarity, the same foundation. For instance: While we quit one job, thinking the new one will be much better, different issues await, with different people, and new scenarios. What I didn’t expect was all the physical pain that would come my way, although I’ve put my body through hell. I thought it could finally rest, heal and mend, but this hasn’t been the case. Maybe in a physical sense, there is no more heavy lifting and pushing beyond exhaustion, but there is still a lot of emotional baggage, and I’ve always known that it adds and promotes my pain.
A few weeks ago I’ve reached to over the counter pain killers and it was a big step as I don’t like them. “Temporary” was my saving grace and what I wanted to focus on, but they have left me hanging, bringing me little to no relief. Yesterday morning I was at an all time low. It’s territory I know too well, and I wish I was unaware of it, never having encountered it. It frightens the daylight out of me, but on the flip side I know that even that has a part and without it I wouldn’t be who I am. The only question is “is it a good or bad thing?” Some days I don’t know, especially when I feel vulnerable because of the pain body. Some days I see the amazing light that shines within and other days I see a big mess within. It’s the kind of low when you can’t pick yourself up anymore and there seems to be no way out of the slump. A low where you just want the pain to end, any which way, but end. Where your willpower and fighter spirit vanishes before your eyes. Where all your knowledge and even your positivity goes out the door. Where you feel so raw, emotional and vulnerable, and cry in an instance at anything and everything because life doesn’t seem fair. I’m not sure when that happened either and when I became so emotionally vulnerable. Some days I just don’t understand it and the lesson is well hidden. A sign that I am still not ready to move on and that more work is required. That’s how dark life feels during one of these lows.
And then I reached for the “big guys”, steroids, leftovers from a prior awful bad episode with the RA. Meds I had for years, long expired, for one of those rainy days moments when everything else has failed. That moment has arrived and there is no need to savor them any longer, but perhaps not use them all. Will they help being expired for years? Maybe I can trick myself into believing that the horrible side effects have lost their potency while the healing properties are still intact. Am I entering a placebo phase? It got so bad I had to try, and this was to be another “temporary.” I hope to kickstart things so I can function at least. So I can sleep maybe a whole night or even several hours in row. That would be a dream. Where I don’t have to strain trying to dress or comb my hair in agony. Another dream….
I think I’m on the mend emotionally, at least for the moment while I am writing this, and I’m optimistic at this very minute. I know it can change quickly and there is more work to be done before I can convince myself that this is a true statement. For the moment I take it and enjoy that I can grab a little glimmer of light while staying in the darkness a little longer. Hello darkness my old friend, we are definitely not strangers, you and I. The darkness and pain are some of our greatest teachers and I am so willing to do the work. But does it really have to hurt sooo badly?
I ‘m an awful mess, physically and emotionally. I have become somewhat of a hermit, withdrawn, lonely, missing some special people in my life and yet wanting to be alone. Is this the point I am turning into my mother? I have felt so raw and emotional that naturally it comes to mind that something must be wrong with me. I’ve even read up about depression as it surely feels like it on some days. It could also be an issue with my thyroid which I actually believe is the culprit and which mimics depression symptoms along other problems like being unable to lose weight. But hey I did lose ten more pounds over the last month and was happy to see the results.
Like I said more work is needed and transformational work is hard work, no doubt. No wonder so many shy away from it, it would definitely be a lot easier to give up and yet something tells me that I have to continue on this journey and see it through. That there is no other way and that I have come too far to throw in the towel. So onward I go, sometimes walking, skipping, happy and eager, and sometimes crawling on all fours or limping, but I am moving and any progress is progress…so mote it be…
This weeks health segment goes out to our four legged family members and the focus is on eye health.
I’ve noticed a few things with Cinnamon this week that make me wonder if she is struggling with poor eye sight. First it was a stick in the water that I threw. It was seemingly right next to her and still she had a hard time making it out. Sure it could have been the glare on the water from the sun. 🤔Then a miscalculated jump and run in with a kitchen cabinet that left a big scrape with lost fur on the right side of her face. She does get a bit rambunctious. 🤔 Next, another failed attempt jumping on the couch, missing it and falling off backwards. A play with her toy that I kicked around the floor and which at times she couldn’t make out where it landed. Sure it’s brown like the floor and blends in, but 🤔…how many excuses can I make for her while not following a hunch or satisfying that gut feeling.
A vet appointment is scheduled for the 6th of August and it’s the earliest I could get. Crazy, but it’s important to me that she treated by the same amazing man that already cared for my prior two dogs Sparky and Nikki. In the meantime we are doing our own thing and here are a few tips. Tonight Cinnamon received half of a sweet potato mixed in with her normal food and luckily she loved it. Here is a list of foods and things that can promote good eye health in dogs. Even if everything checks out just fine and fur-momma is just over worried about her baby, these are still good things to incorporate into her diet.
Cold water fish
Moisture (dog I drops) if you live in a hot, dry and dusty climate which I think is key for us here
Wildfire season has started here in the states. Especially in California. A dream/ state to many with beautiful scenery, the ocean and it’s beaches, the mountains and it’s breathtaking wilderness trails. California, idolized by TV shows such as “Streets of San Francisco or Baywatch” it’s a must visit tourist destination. But there is also another side to this gorgeous state bordering Nevada my home state, and some of us have battled these monster fires last year, perhaps way too close to home, making it very personal. It definitely brings a different meaning to the table when one ignites in your own backyard. A meaning of fear and terror, of helplessness and times you involuntarily hold your breath, praying for the best, for the winds to shift, to be spared and lucky enough to walk away with a giant scare.
The biggest fire in California is burning and has started only a few miles from me. Called the Beckwourth Complex, by Thursday good progress was made with a 68% containment. So far 100,531 acres of land have burned and have turned into a dark, ominous wasteland. And yet new life will sprout once more, even though we will never see it’s glory and beauty of how it was in our lifetime again.
Lucky in an unlucky situation I call myself, and thank the winds for not turning on me, blowing the flames away from me vs. into my direction. As much as I love to listen to thunder and lightening, the consequences and chances of a wildfire starting are just too great and last year was awful. Many predict this year to be even worse since it is so dry and we are well on our way. For me it really puts into perspective where I want to settle down and perhaps build my home in the future. Fire insurance for a home is through the roof here, understandably why and I can see myself wanting to live with such a huge threat every summer. In an instance all could go up in smoke, and perhaps this is a state I will always love and visit but most likely will not put my roots down.
Once again I bow my hat to all the brave souls, our fire fighters and volunteers that fight these monster fires, risking their life to keep ours safe. May everyone stay safe and protected, may all the animals escape unharmed and find lusher meadows to graze on. Blessed be…
“The nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us, are the very ones that can break us open and help us blossom into who we were meant to be.” ~Elizabeth Lesser
I feel blessed being able to say that I have learned not to resist anymore. Or at least I think so that I don’t and perhaps there are times we do it without even noticing until much later. Maybe it is an auto response programmed into us and all I can do is to choose wisely when I am aware and in a conscious state. I actually feel like going with the flow is one of my greatest accomplishments and I recognize and acknowledge the work it took to get here. I see it as a valuable tool that adds wisdom and knowledge, a tool that bestows more peace, harmony and inner stillness. I don’t know exactly when and how it happened, but it just did.
At once I knew that by resisting I would only inflict more pain and hardship on myself. By the time I arrived at that point I had found a new compassion and self love for myself. I had done much personal work and it took many experiences not even knowing that self love and care was the goal here. It made me the protector of myself, trying to keep all harm away. It was one that was induced by what I call the pain body, my chronic autoimmune disease. I knew that resistance = stress, and stress = increased pain and flare ups. In time I became my own best friend, one that understands me best and one that is unconditional. With it I unknowingly bestowed a great gift, one that gives myself a fighting chance not to resist the nature of life whenever it is in my power to do so.
A sucker for quotes and inspiration I am. Here are a few that spoke to me this week. A few, relevant for these times, this journey and where I relate myself to be. Especially the last one. I must have turned into a good traveler. I no longer have a arrival destination or deadline, but I look forward to a collection of moments and memories with each passing day on this journey. I hope you enjoy.
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
“20 years from now you will be more disappointed in the things that you didn’t do than the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from your safe harbor. Catch the Tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intend on arriving.”
Some woman arrange flowers, I arrange feathers haha. My point is that we are all different, bringing different qualities to life, and still, do we feel like we belong?
“It doesn’t interest me if there is one God or many gods. I want to know if you belong or feel abandoned. If you know despair or can see it in others. I want to know if you are prepared to live in the world with its harsh need to change you. If you can look back with firm eyes saying this is where I stand. I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living, falling toward the center of your longing. I want to know if you’re willing to live, day by day, with the consequence of love and the bitter unwanted passion of your sure defeat.”
Mother’s, nurturing, caring, protecting. Someone that embodies an unconditional and undying love for their loved ones. Mother’s know best, and are a guiding light in our life. I realize that not all are that lucky to have a relationship like this with their mother and until the end and Mom’s passing, I was one of those people.
Throughout my years on this planet I have encountered many others with t he qualities listed above. These qualities are just some that came to mind and are by no means inclusive. Some of these women never brought a child into the world and yet they possessed these qualities we often identify mothers with. Today I say that you don’t have to be a mother to be a mother. Today a statement from Cheryl Tamburri comes to mind I’d like to share with you.
“There is a tribe of warrior mother’s. Their fierceness is the stuff of legends – their weapons are spears of knowledge; shields forged from pain; courage and strength. They world them against powerful forces they cannot control, to fight for their children struggling to fight for themselves. Neither fear nor exhaustion can extinguish their spirit for there is a tribal well from which they come to drink, made of love, tears, and solidarity from their sisters – powerful, healing, and restorative waters which sustain them through unconditional love. Any who challenge them soon learn these women are formidable warriors, not to be trifled with. Their way are a mystery to the uninitiated – they do not apologize, explain, justify, nor suffer fools; yet they open their arms to embrace all who seek rest and comfort. They are The Heart Of A Warrior Woman – they are my tribe, these are my people, and we are made stronger together. 💙🙏🏼
Whether you are a physical mother or not, have you ever felt a bind this strong for someone, not your child or related by blood? Is it possible to feel this kind of compassion for humanity, someone, a stranger, a person in need, or just anyone?