Happy Halloween and Samhain beautiful witches (the good ones – in costumes or practitioners) and special souls. May your night be magickal and filled with trickery (also the good one) and wonder. Despite occurring at similar times and containing similar themes, Samhain and Halloween actually are not the same. Halloween, short for All Hallow’s Eve, is celebrated on and around Oct. 31 and tends to be more family-focused. On the other hand, Samhain is more religious in focus, spiritually observed by practitioners.
For weeks now, houses and front lawns have been decorated with spooky displays as children and adults alike get their costumes together to trick or treat. It has triggered a few laughs walking Cinnamon and she didn’t know what to make of the Grim Reapers pictured above. One day they were slightly swaying in the wind which made them look even spookier. A full on Mohawk all the way down her spine and a growl, followed by a bark and getting the hell out of there was the end result. Other times, a skeleton wearing tennis shoes and a baseball cap, speaking skulls on the ground, or giant black spiders moving in the wind were equally unpopular, hahaha. I was thinking about taking Cinnamon trick or treating, but that would be a disaster waiting to happen. We are still working on our skills of getting used to other people and other animals. It’s a hit and miss and she reads their energy. Surprise there. Plus we will be gone on our little trip anyways, but this little bandit will make out either way and I am sure a few treats will find her way to her.
One year ago, to this day, this precious little angel choose me and came into my life. It’s almost hard to believe that an entire year has passed, which only raises more awareness to enjoy and love every moment I am gifted with her to the fullest. It’s been many years since I had a dog after Nikki, another beloved Fur-Child has passed. I missed having an animal but it was simply too painful and too new yet, and strangely it felt like there was a certain loyalty to Nikki that needed to be upheld. But for the most part it was not wanting to go through the pain of having to say goodbye some day again. For me it was like losing a loved one, a person, a human, my child, and I am not good at saying goodbye, at all. I feel too much and never got over Nikki’s death. Here I was, waiting to numb the pain, for things to get easier, while suffering in many other ways of not having a special pet. And then she came into my life, unexpected and unplanned, and even though things get complicated at times and more difficult with an animal, it remains a lifestyle choice with adjustments, sacrifices and commitment. In short I wouldn’t have it any other way and I couldn’t imagine life without her.
She is a bundle of sass, and she definitely thinks she is one of us. Well she is and there is no arguing about it. She mocks you and she is a quick learner. She knows that pillows are meant to lay your head on and therefore you might quite frequently find her sleeping just like a human. She has her routines and she knows that a treat awaits after she goes out in the morning and does her business. She is so used to it by now that she will sit patiently, waiting, but also has no problem of reminding you in a way that says “hey, I am still here, waiting, on that treat you are suppose to give me, buddy.” Cinnamon has many quirks and she will without a doubt make you laugh until your belly hurts. There is no shortage of horsing around time in the day, and she is definitely unique and strangely different in the best way possible. She is sensitive and intuitive, she will check on you throughout the day to make sure you are ok. She knows when I am not and she gives kisses when she feels you are sad and she snuggles just a little closer, sending a message that says “I got you bud.” I love her affection and that I can cuddle her as often and as long as I want to. She has complete trust in me putting her snow jacket on and off and waits patiently if some sap needs to be removed from her soft fur. She is 41 lbs now and pure muscle, just try moving her when she plops herself down as close as possible to you and you have to lay like a question mark in bed because for one, you don’t want to disturb her, and two…you couldn’t move her if you tried. Fur child parents who allowed their furry children into bed know the struggle is real.
Animals are something else and I will continue to say that we could learn a lot form them. I am her hooman and she loves me unconditionally. I know we definitely came across each other, at a time of our life when we both needed each other. I thank her every day that she has chosen me to brighten my days. And likewise she is thanking me, without the physical words that yet speak truer and louder as if spoken. She is a picky little rascal and gets the best food. Allergic to many things it was essential to avoid as many triggers as possible which has resulted in a soft and beautifully, shiny coat.
Dear sweet Cinnamon, I hope you are enjoying your little adventure to the wave and hiking every day with your favorite humans. I love you to the moon and back and here is to many more years shared. Thank you for being such a special part of my life.
It’s quote time again and you already know what a sucker I am for a good piece of wisdom that speaks to me and my current journey. This piece from Albert Camus seems to reflect my way of thinking perfectly. I know I have not always felt this way, but being able to look back and recognize the progress, to see the areas that have improved, that in itself is very rewarding. Although it’s often a painful one in the midst of it, we learn to look back and most wouldnt’ change a thing, for everything we went through was required along the way. Nothing is ever easy and the path to wisdom or spiritual enlightenment, or whatever else you want to call it, is never all love and light. I’ve said it before, it’s hard work, guts and glory, dedication, commitment, bravery and much much more. I could go on listing all the different attributes you will encounter along the way, and maybe you too, reading this quote can recognize the changes within yourself and realize that it is time to give yourself a hand for how far you have come.
He said “In the midst of hate, I found there was within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. I realized, through it all, that in the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”
My mind is wandering again, and it’s taking me on a trip to the many musings you find here on my blog. It’s true that you never quite know what to get when you enter my site. Haha, I’ll take that as a compliment and I guess that makes my unpredictable with a few surprises under my sleeve. Well I don’t even know what I get myself on a day to day basis, if I give my thoughts and the things I stumble upon free range without the need to control them. It’s really quite wonderful to go with the flow and be entertained with the possibilities of what could be, of what can happen. I guess you could call it dreaming with my eyes wide open. It’s neat to see how things take off and where your feelings and thoughts about said matter actually lead you. One such trip happened to me while I was reading a witchy tip about knotting your troubles away.
It says that you can use this one no matter what your problem is. If you choose a color for the yarn to suit your purpose, you can fine-tune the spell to your particular situation. All you need for this spell is a piece of yarn in the appropriate color, at 12 inches long. Now hold the yarn, with one end in hand and pull it taught. Think about your problem (just one per spell, please). Concentrate on your difficult situation and start tying knots in the yarn. Visualize all your troubles getting bound up in the knots and trapped there. Keep tying until you feel it’s enough. Take the knotted yarn outside and bury it to keep your problems away.
I have seen this before, in various forms, where for instance we place all of the negative energy, the thing we want to rid ourselves from into a piece of wood, eventually throwing it into the fire during a fire ceremony. Perhaps we write a word onto a piece of paper and watch it go up into smoke. We drum to the full moon to release all that no longer serves our highest good and so much more. Here we bind our troubles to keep them away. We hang Witches Bells above the entrance to our homes to not let negativity enter our kingdom. Further we might arrange salt bowls to absorb any negativity that is within the home. We smudge and we burn, light candles and Himalayan salt lamps to promote a feeling of well being. Hocus pocus to one, it is satisfying and helpful to another. As I sit here I wonder who these rituals and practices appeal to. Do they fuel the seekers, the believers, the ones that need something to hold onto so they can feel less and that they are doing something? That they are contributing to their life? Could we even associate these practices with the placebo effect?
I don’t know the answer and what is what here. What I do know is that no matter what you believe, whether you are a believer in spells, in meditating, tying a knot or burning your troubles away, I’d recommend to go with what feels right to you. I believe that an untroubled mind frame is the greatest foundation to a healthy and un-tormented self. So if that includes tying a few knots so I can feel relieved and comforted in whatever way, then you can bet to find me sitting there supporting this practice with all my might. Maybe you too feel the same and should give it a go. Sit back afterwards and absorb what happens. See how you feel, has it made a difference? I also believe that our opinion and how we feel about this is key. If it is just a bunch nonsense to us, then there is no need to even try, as we have undermined ourselves through our thoughts. Being objective and open minded will be your best foundation when attempting any ritual out of the ordinary.
It’s been a year of abstinence for me. A year that lacked the announcements of physical achievements, of climbing mountains, and exploring other never before seen trails within Mother Nature. It’s been a year of abstinence from hiking and my Camera Roll is missing the spectacular images that are added year after year, except this one. I simply wasn’t able to hike because of health reasons and a major RA flare up. Recently, my life has shown improvements with the shedding of some burdens, responsibilities, trauma bonds, wounded inner children that were integrated and healed, shadow work, adjusting to my new life, the help of new shoes and metatarsal pads, loving support within family and friends and probably even more, not listing here. I am working on gently and carefully rebuilding my strength without doing too much or causing further setbacks. It’s a delicate balance, one of which I am still an eager student to and which I still haven’t figured out completely. What seems to work one day, doesn’t the next and therefore the statement that not all days are equal still remains in effect stronger than ever. Finding out what is too much and what is not enough requires an intimate relationship between body and mind and I am listening closely and feeling with every fiber of my being. Either way, I am venturing and I am daring to take the next step.
Back in 2018 we won lottery tickets to The Wave in Arizona which is a sandstone formation in Arizona. Each day names are drawn from a lottery type system to keep traffic down and to preserve this natural phenomenon. Only 20 people are allowed to visit each day. To win requires luck with a persistence and determination to try over and over. Well, we had won, but I couldn’t go because an emergency presented itself and I booked a flight to Germany to be by Mom’s bedside. I was sad to have missed this opportunity, seeing this magnificent place of which pictures never do it justice, but I had no choice and it was neither optional, nor was it here or there not booking that flight. It was the right thing to do and I did without a question or hesitation. I just wished these dates would have not crossed. Ugghhh…Murpy’s law would have its own way.
Three years later, good things come to those who wait, or those who are patient and persistent. We won tickets once more, what are the chances? Instead of jumping up and down for joy, my excitement was initially very stifled. I didn’t think I could do it and some doubt still finds it’s way into my mind. Not going is not optional I was told as these opportunities may only come once in a lifetime, if ever. How lucky to be presented with such an opportunity for the second time around. We are embarking on a 6 day trip to visit “The Wave” and other sights within the area. Short little hikes are planned with some sightseeing directly from the car. It will be different no doubt, especially with a dog in tow and plans have to be made to visit dog friendly parks as well as accommodations. My fingers are crossed tightly that I manage somehow and I will be careful every step of the way. Hiking to and back from the wave will be my biggest distance challenge since last year and although daunting a bit, I trust to make it and keep positive. I will approach this journey with no expectations and whatever I get to see and experience will be a great gift and a bonus. If I need downtime and have to miss a day, it will be ok as well and gratefully I accept what is for me at this time. This will be my one and only adventure this year and it couldn’t be to a better place. This time of year the temperatures are comfortable for me and the sweltering heat has subsided. It’s the off season and hopefully tourism is much slower than during the summer months as well. I can’t wait to report back to you and share some of my own pictures. Our visit to this monument is scheduled for November 1st although I will be gone from October 28th through the 2nd of November. Fingers crossed all goes well. I am packed and like at any sleepover or trip my toenails are cut and other grooming rituals have commenced. Yeah don’t ask, it’s something learned from Mom as a child, something that apparently will stick with me for the rest of my life. Funny how all of this seemed to have happened on auto pilot. A given routine that doesn’t require a conscious thought or a plan, it just happens 😜.
My posts are scheduled and responses might be a little slow but what else is new and this happens even when I’m home, haha. You know I value you and I will always get back to you. Much love to all of you beautiful souls.
Inner child healing is said to be an essential part of inner work. The dictionary describes inner work as the psychological and spiritual practice of diving deep into your inner self for the purposes of self-exploration, self-understanding, healing, and spiritual transformation. For me it was mainly connected with a desire to understand myself, as well as my various behaviors and reactions. My goal was to learn about triggers and wounds created early on in life, with the hope to bring healing and addressing a pain body that was rooted on an emotional level, and in turn resulting in a pain body that made itself visible in the form of RA flare up’s. Trapped emotional trauma that was stored and unresolved transformed into the physical form and in my case into chronic disease.
I have only come across inner child healing earlier this year and already, it has become an essential part of my journey. It has opened my eyes and unlocked secrets. It has brought me face to face with myself and transformed pain into healing and love. It is also described as the psychotherapeutic or spiritual process of changing yourself to become the person you know you can be. To go through this process of embarking on such deep and profound work, we have to recognize that certain things within us are out of balance. We have to admit that we are not perfect, but that we are flawed. We have to express a goal of no longer wanting to turn our heads the other way by ignoring our shadow self and our darker aspects. We have to recognize that nobody is perfect and it includes us….especially us. Doing inner work, means that we have to be honest with ourselves and this is not a time for foolish pride. In the process of it we need to recognize and observe that we act out of character in certain situations. We need to pinpoint what it is that we would like to change about ourselves. On its own, inner child healing reconnects us to the wounded elements of our inner child within. Inner child healing is the term given to therapeutic work on childhood wounds. It is an effort to correct and to balance, to remove and to heal while expressing a desire to achieve inner peace.
Just recently I was thinking about what an enormous responsibility it is to raise children. I was never been gifted with this responsibility, but I pay homage and pull my hat to all of you parents out there who do a fabulous job and show up each and every day. The sacrifices you bring to the table make it easy for me to see that as a parent you want the best for your child. Often this includes a better life than the one you might have experienced yourself. You pray for a life with less struggles, and smooth sailing as it is your best wish and hope your child lives a healthy, successful and glorious life. Let’s not forget a happy life which is often overlooked and not listed as an essential requirement, but it truly is. You put forth your best every day, all for the well being of your child. After all, you are his/her mentor, guardian and protector, and in many ways you keep him/her safe, providing a roof over their head, food on the table and clothes to wear which is not always a given in many 3rd world countries. And yet it is impossible to protect your beloved from the lessons of life. From the experiences their soul has agreed to have in this lifetime before they were even born. It renders you helpless and you can only watch and support to the best of your ability. My soul has agreed to many years of struggle and to lessons that I yet have to learn. I am still identifying my wounds and the things that are out of balance. I am still discovering things I would like to change about myself. I continue to be my worst critic, but I have also become my best friend and my biggest supporter. Most of all and despite of this ongoing learning process, I am at peace and that’s what’s most important to me. I know that changes will continue to come in their due time and that the lessons and experiences of life will never end. I am ok with it, with this current moment, my now, and don’t need to wish that things could be different. Everything happens in divine timing and I might as well enjoy the current scenery to the best of my ability. I am grateful that I have adapted to a personal concept of finding beauty within a weed, to see something positive amongst the devastation of a Wildfire, that I search for the lessons even amongst the most painful experiences and that I always find a way to keep going.
When it comes to my inner wounds, I know that they are elements that were hurt as a child. Elements that nobody on the sidelines could really protect me from. These elements would follow me all of my life until I was finally ready to stare them into the face and do the healing. It’s something that has to be realized first and too often we don’t even know that such a thing exists. How could we ever be aware that we are missing something, that something needs mending, that something is begging to be healed. It takes a great deal of life experiences and pain that eventually brings this awareness into our life. One such element is a stubborn one and I have tried to heal it several times already. It has to do with my yearning for meaningful relationships and friendships. It branches off into other inner children such as abandonment, unworthiness, invaluable, isolation, a feeling of being left behind, betrayed, taking for granted, and more if this yearning is triggered and not met. While I have healed many of these childhood wounds and inner children, I have yet to learn as to why such a connection is so meaningful to me and why I crave it so much. Perhaps I am still focusing on “too small” (individual connections) and my purpose is even greater than I realize it myself. Time will tell and in the meantime until this divine moment arrives, I am here doing the work and laying the foundation.
I have learned that I don’t need these connections for my own happiness, to feel loved, to feel complete or because I need to feel validated and accepted. I know that I already carry everything I need within me and it does bring great comfort. I know that happiness is not dependent on others, but others can surely enrich a state that is already present. I know that in life we might never be all that we hope in the eyes of every single person. It’s simply impossible and we don’t always connect on the same level. Yet there remains a yearning to share life, to feel connected to someone or something other than myself. I am pondering what that is and where this wound was created. I am sure it has to do with the early death of my father and the harsh feeling of being left behind. A feeling of abandonment and missed chances. A feeling of last moments without realization they would never return, and having to come to terms with a new way of life and without him. I am pondering the name of this wound and while I could call it a great many names, I am searching for the main umbrella that encompasses all the other wounds and reactions thereof. Perhaps that’s why it has been so difficult to address and heal this specific one. Therefore I relive some of the same experiences and emotions over and over. The same hopes surface and the same disappointments follow. Today, I am merely recognizing that I have a little more work to do and that this inner child is not completely healed yet. I understand that a lesson will repeat until it is learned and I’m committed to break the repeat cycle. I wonder what the lesson is and how it is healed. Personally I am tired of this teacher and I want to waive farewell as I integrate it with my soul and shower it with love. I haven’t quite figured out this season for a reason thing yet and why people come and go so frequently. Why potentially meaningful relationships are reduced to encounters, an acquaintance, or nothing at all. Why interests and needs change so quickly and not over time, why it is a use and be used kind of experience and why time is simply up. Am I truly the only one feeling this way!
We woke up to the first significant winter storm. Yesterday’s rain turned into snow late in the evening and this morning we were greeted by a winter wonderland. At least a foot (12”) of snow has fallen overnight and it’s the fluffy heavy kind, perfect for building a snowman or to go sledding and get the toboggan out. Yeah, we will see about that later, but in the meantime it’s nice and cozy on the inside. Still in bed I was looking at heavy covered pine trees this morning, and the views were sheer bliss, although the trees limbs were hanging low under the heavy weight of the snow. I felt a gratitude and gratefulness to be surrounded by warmth and not having to go out in this world that looked beautiful and peaceful. Seeing and enjoying it from the inside while it’s still snowing is one thing, going out and driving in it, is another. I bet there have been accidents galore this morning on the freeways and I know that some interstates along with mountain passes have been closed due to weather. We did had a rock / landslide near the burn scars from this summer and it will take awhile to unbury the road again. This time of year and just learning about the forecast and that snow was on the way used to stress me out, especially if I had to be to work early in the morning. Now I’m blessed to enjoy the serenity of being snowed in and not having to worry about all the other less experienced drivers who speed passed me, only to end up in the ditch down the road because of going too fast.
Cinnamon however, loves it and leaped out this morning, jumping like a little goat through the snow that is belly high for her. She always did love the snow and to her it was a welcome surprise to open the door this morning and discover the white, fluffy stuff. She has tons of energy in the cooler temperatures which don’t bother her one bit and snow brings out her feisty side, which in actuality is seen daily. Snow or not, she is a happy dog with a slight identity crises believing she is human. I noticed what is probably an allergic reaction to her vaccine this morning and she has a blood filled, irritated looking bump / growth on the bottom of her chin. Of course, worried Mom, me, calls the vet right away but no appointment is available and is instructed to call again Wednesday morning for standby openings. In the meantime research suggests that it is not that uncommon for dogs to have a allergic reaction with vomiting, diarrhea, hives, rashes and face swelling to a vaccine and God knows that this little girl is super sensitive. As a home remedy I have given her some Antihistamine and hope that this blood filled zit looking nastiness will clear up and subside as nothing more than a reaction to her shots. She is eating her treats and is active which is a good thing since the article also mentions that in severe cases although rare in dogs, a anaphylactic response and even fatality can occur if not treated. You bet that my eyes are peeled to monitor this little human fur-child. In the meantime all is well and our fingers are crossed it stays this way.
Rain and snow has arrived and by all means we need it. What surprises me is the amount that we have seen. Days of almost non stop precipitation with a 100% chance every hour. Tonight the rain will switch over to snow for at least a 12 hour period and my little Cinnamon Girl is getting anxious inside. While it’s cozy to me and the kind of weather you cuddle up with a blanket and watch the world outside, read a good book or else entertain yourself, she is missing her time outside, running, exploring and sniffing the wilderness. Hopefully by tomorrow we can spend some time in the snow and perhaps even build a snow man. I bought snow boots just in time and we will see what the hours ahead hold.
I did a lot of running around this weekend, getting Cinnamon vaccinated for rabies and distemper, getting two cars smog checked, registered, renewing Cinnamon’s Dog License, celebrating my girlfriends birthday, donating to a Fur-Babies emergency surgery, cleaning with lots of moral support for a loved one, researching auto insurance quotes, baking a Cheesecake with mixed berry topping – yum, and much more. Quite frankly a few slower days are just what I am looking forward to. A few days of writing, crafting, more research and the random pondering’s that come to mind every day. Perhaps I should say slower in the sense of emotional demand. It’s horrible to watch a sick person suffer in extremes. To feel helpless, unable to make a physical difference, although the emotional and moral support is just as important. It’s draining however and this has been a bad weekend as far as that goes. I feel worried, but I also have to keep the delicate balance for myself in check so I don’t inadvertently take a step backwards.
Life is a constant give and take. An upholding of a delicate balance. Enjoy each moment, even the tough ones, everything can change in the blink of an eye.
I still approach each day with caution. I am still preparing for the relapse of the RA, but I am holding. By no means am I pain free, but I can manage better, with less of an effort and not as much struggle. I am alive vs just living and I am laser focused and dialed in on improving and continuing this path to healing. I am drinking a lot of Tart Cherry Juice and detoxifying teas. Mentally I have shed baggage and I am adjusting to my new life. I am doing better on the emotional front and the dark clouds have parted to give way to brighter days. Victory is around the corner. It’s been a battle and I have fought each year since 2018. The comeback has gotten harder and harder, with more and more time requirements and longer recovery periods needed. Pain has been a constant this summer, although I have always felt that the summer month are normally easier on me than winter. This was not the case this year and now, approaching winter all of a sudden I am getting better. It makes no sense and defies everything I thought I had learned about this autoimmune disease. Usually I can forecast storms and we had a decent one just the other day. I didn’t feel a thing. After the Mattress fiasco, I am finally sleeping better and here too, slight improvements are noted. Still not quite there yet and still waking up all kinds of hours throughout the night. As I said, nothing is perfect, yet, but every little change helps on the journey of bouncing back. I have to wear Men’s walking shoes due to the extra wide with I now require just to make sure nothing rubs and pinches while I walk that could cause more pain.
It’s amazing how much things move into the foreground and change after we have experienced them so differently for so long. Not being in pain so severely, every day has given me wings and a new appetite for life. Once again I look forward to things instead of dreading them and worrying about them. It’s like a beautiful day after the first freezes. We tend to see them in a new light of appreciation after we had to snuggle up by the heater and have experienced our first chill of the season. We know that these days are rare now, and we embrace them with added love and care. It was such a day just recently while taking Cinnamon out. It was sunny and mild with no wind, and life appeared intensified. I felt alive vs merely existing. I enjoyed going for a little drive. It was a beautiful day and a feeling of relief made itself noticeable in my belly. My breath went just a little deeper as usually and it was as if butterflies were dancing on the inside of me. A deep sigh and a smile appeared as I drove down the empty country road. Cinnamon was pressing her little body onto me, hanging out on the center console, and she too was smiling from ear to ear, tongue out, occasionally catching a whiff of something that entered through the rolled down car window.
It was earlier that day that I was talking to my cousin, soliciting her advice about booking a flight to Germany. I still had doubts, not trusting my health a 100%, although I don’t really want to put that energy out into the universe. I am getting better and I’m on the way to a full recovery, and that’s just that. So mote it be :). Perhaps I should say that I have entered what I see as a rehabilitation stage again. Only now that my days have become more stable, with more breaks in between the pain, can I attempt to work on getting my strength back and improve my endurance. I am walking more again and despite of limping by the end of our walk and having to remind Cinnamon to go slowly, I am doing it. I hope to continue. Instead of taking 3 pain pills at bedtime, I now take only one for a whole 24 hour time span. My goal is to the one into none.
By the end of our conversation I felt that we had arrived at a major decision when it comes to Germany. We decided that now was not the time to tackle this project but rather wait until early spring of next year. That some groundwork can be done now, but that it would be wiser to wait. Another burden fell off of me, but I realize that the work is just being delayed and I still think about the house daily, worrying. Time is of the essence and no further time can be wasted. It needs to be taken care of asap. I’m also dealing with things here right now, pressing things that require tending. It would be difficult to go and be so far away, unable to return if I needed to. But on the plus side, the United States is finally opening it’s borders again for international travel. No more uncertainty if I could make it back. In addition, the vaccination is behind me, despite of probably needing a booster shot once next year rolls around. We shall see.
Driving along the country road, I felt deep within me that it was the right choice to delay. I mean on a personal and health level and I can only pray the house is holding up a short while longer. I felt relieved to be honest. I didn’t think that I was ready physically and I wonder at times if my body went on strike on purpose as to ground me and force a period of rest. I will never know but it’s not the first time I have felt this way and it has happened before. Whatever it might be, the house remains my responsibility and I am blessed to have such an amazing support system in Germany helping me. I feel that now, hopefully I am on the mend when it comes to the health front. I have a better chance to prepare for Germany. To shop for a flight ahead of time, and be prepared mentally and physically. It’s going to be a hard time once more when I get there, filled with emotional stress of going through all belongings. But I also hope to find a balance as this responsibility and worry dissolves and no longer hangs over me like a dark cloud. At least this will be my outlook and how I will approach going on that big plane across the big pond the next time.