Posted in Family, Life

Turning point

Most of the first week home in Germany was filled fighting with Mom. Hurtful remarks would surface here and there throughout the day and in hindsight I know that it was the pain and illness that was talking. It was tough as the jabs kept coming without enough recovery time to get passed the hurdles. The roles had reversed and I noticed Mom’s stubbornness lighten up in regards to previous memories. I remember here so stubborn that without a problem she could easily not talk to you for however long she chose. Now it was more like throwing the punch and within a few minutes commenting on the lovely countryside. A few times I thought she might have turned bipolar. Mom developed water blisters on her legs which resulted in open sores. Every other day, a nurse comes to the house to tend to her and wrap her legs anew in the hopes of eliminating infection. Mom has struggled with diabetes for many years and the medicines are causing her kidneys not to function properly. Further medication is suppose to remove excess water from her body, but she hates the pills as they bring on a sudden and uncontrollable urge to run to the bathroom. A few times Mom proudly showed me how low her sugar was and it wasn’t until I talked to the nurse that I learned the dangers of such and the damage that is done to brain cells each time this occurs. It was eye opening in regards to her strange behavior and flooded me with compassion and a much better understanding of what she might be going through.

It was my first Sunday in Germany as the pieces fell into place for me. I felt as if I had learned another lesson in regards to Mom, her life and how it ultimately connects and impacts mine. The tension was mellow compared to the past five days and for the first time since my arrival, the peace pipe was lit and burning a feeling of comfort into my soul. I want to inhale the magic as long as possible as it offered a beautiful glimpse of what could be, if and when all the crazy subsides. I didn’t feel all that well as I got up and besides the RA acting up, I felt dizzy and clammy. I slept late and was still yawning after I got up, usually a sign of getting sick. Hopefully that would not be the case, even though I was already sick in the sense of being sick and tired of fighting and arguing. 

Our original idea to have lunch at a guesthouse went out of the window, due to eating breakfast so late. Prior to the fights subsiding, I had read that there was a flea market in the next town over. It would be a neat place to check out and a welcome escape from the low blows. That idea went out the window as well since the mood miraculously changed and I didn’t want to leave the peaceful atmosphere. This was what I came for, time with Mom and I wasn’t going anywhere. Who knew what the next moment would bring and if it wasn’t going to last. I was going to soak up each moment as one of my fondest memories and be grateful for the gift of experiencing the bond between us. I even managed a few minor repairs in the house that were simple enough, yet a big deal for Mom. Things went well, she saw the progress and end result and in return her trust grew which allowed for me to do these things. I felt like I was contributing, even if it was on the tiniest scale of making her life a little easier. 

Mom talked a lot today and for the first time we didn’t just sit, side by side, starring off into the distance, without regard of the others presence. The mood lastet all day and it was wonderful. Thank you everybody for sending warm vibes and energy for this to happen. You did it, and it was a day I will always hold dear to my heart. Besides the minor repairs, I washed Mom’s hair today and cooked another meal in the evening. This time went much better and I think she was grateful for a warm meal. We are not at the point she would say so or admit it, but I know and some things don’t need to be spoken. I found it funny and an honor that while I did the dishes and the leftovers cooled on the table in front of her, the remains were shrinking as she continued to snack and couldn’t keep her hands off of the delicious goods. I think it was a winner and while I was happy, I also felt a bit of sadness creep up, knowing that on her own, all alone, her meals consist of cold food and that she doesn’t cook for herself anymore. 

The lesson learned today was one for the need of purpose. I have grown to be a independent and responsible woman, I have always made it on my own and I never had to ask for help to be bailed out of any situation. Not that I have been spared from those situations. Being gone for so many years, Mom knows relatively little from my life and remembers me as her little girl. A person that she could guide and teach a few things, while instilling values and morales. She never really got to see how these lessons turned out because I moved away. And although I never got into trouble on a serious note, she would not be able to see how these lessons unfolded in my day to day life. I feel that in a sense I took away that purpose from her, leaving her lonely and perhaps feeling useless and helpless. She never grew with me over the years of being gone and how could she have? She had her memories of the past but couldn’t join the celebration of lessons I learned along the way. I decided to play dumb and give her a feeling of purpose back. A feeling of contributing and being a part of my life, instead of being on the sidelines and watching her daughter play out the lessons she had learned over the years on her own. Without the help of her mother. Of course I had no clue initially if any of this was the case and if it would change things, but it did and the peace pipe burned all day while I never moved from her side. 

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Posted in Life

Tough as stone 

It’s been almost a week since I arrived in Germany and it’s my first weekend here. Time flew by, but it feels like a mixture of things. Little short trips here and there to the grocery store or running other errands, while hanging out with Mom, cooking and doing the little chores she allows me to do. The week passed by without much significant highlight if I consider that I’m on vacation. It’s a good and a bad thing, as there has been time to breathe but also time that feels completely wasted. The weather has been holding, but I haven’t taken a hike and feel the need to get out, walk and take some pictures. I haven’t taken a single picture with the camera, just a few with my phone so far. Days are filled with glimpses of peace of how things could be, but mostly it is the anger and disgust she feels for me that is winning, holding the upper hand. I’m here and yet there is nothing to say, just awkward silence. Today she mentioned that she didn’t tell me to come, yet I am expected to move and stay for good. I will not subject myself to her rage even if I move. I was invited to a family BBQ last night and it was a great way to see many of my family members that I haven’t seen in quite awhile. I got home late, but to my surprise Mom was still woke. I could have sworn the cat was upstairs keeping her company as I heard her talk. Her door was locked and I stood and listened. It sounded like she was in pain from the open sores she has in her legs. A result of skipping her water tablets, but not something she believes or something you could make her understand. I wasn’t sure if everything was ok and I decided to knock. Eventually she opened and we sat for awhile. She was cordial, telling me about her music show she had watched while showing me different craft articles in her magazine. We went to bed around midnight and said our goodnight. It was short lived, but I enjoyed the brief, kind and normal interaction with her. I even felt somewhat useful as if she enjoyed my company.

Last night was long forgotten by this morning and Mom started the day with arguments and a raised voice. Maybe she is bi-polar and mentally unstable, I’m not sure and this time is different than all the others. We always fought and had different opinions, we never had a close relationship and perhaps me not staying for good, has sent her over the edge. I got up and left, I wasn’t going to start my day in the same fashion we had the prior days. I’m done trying to convey a different side and there is no use. Help can not be given when help is not accepted. I might as well run against a wall, same difference. I will not say “never” but I will try my best to avoid the arguments. She will no longer get that from me and perhaps in some ways it’s a little like giving up on my part. I have learned that arguments won’t solve anything, no matter with what urgency I’m trying to convey the situation. I don’t have months to do so, but she is not open minded and all efforts from this week have been unsuccessful. I stayed downstairs for awhile and returned later. The arguments have stopped, but switched over to the ignoring and silent treatment. It’s incredible how far I travelled in order to sit here, breathing the same air, with nothing to say. I feel tolerated even though she must have told me a dozen of times already to pack up and get out. Sadly, I’m almost at the point that I hope she will be admitted on Tuesday into the hospital when we return to the appointment she was suppose to have last Tuesday. She got lucky that something went wrong and she bought herself a week with her daughter that could have been used a multitude of ways. And sadly, she couldn’t get past her feelings of contempt that she holds for me. Again I am reminded of my “Rock Bottom” oracle card and the complete surrender that it calls for. To give in and allow the situation to unfold without the need to be in control. Surrender…I’m trying, but a move like these needs some insights. 

I’m not sure what to think of the RA. While my feet are better, it is my left wrist that is killing me daily. The hands and joints are definitely swollen which brings trouble and grief. I need to mop floors and will figure out how to tackle this obstacle. But for tonight I’m looking forward to a night out with my cousins and a comedy at the movies. A brilliant idea from my cousin and dear friend Moni who is trying to bring a little sunshine to my day with some laughter. It is much appreciated.

Posted in Life

Anger Pains

Where do I even begin? I’m working through anger, disbelief, and simply being dumbfounded. No matter how much I’m trying to shrug things off, or not to let things get under my skin, there are more and more w?t?f?moments. It sounds rough, but I can no longer make any sense of what is happening. Twenty minutes must have passed since I sat down to write, but all I’m doing is starring at the blank screen, unsure of how to begin to summoning my thoughts. I’m lost for words and I’m losing the basis and foundation of this whole undertaking and purpose of this visit. I got to see my lifelong girlfriend Angie tonight. She has always been there for me, often being my sounding block, helping me move mountains and collaborating plots for progress with Mom. Each visit brings new worries and drama and I feel bad of how little time we had in past years to just be. To just enjoy each other’s company as best friends, without the drama from my side. Yet you wouldn’t here a single complain from here and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She is a living guardian angel to me and I can’t put into words the meaning she brings to my life. She opened the door and it was wonderful to see her, we hugged. Tightly, I was clinging onto her for a long time it seemed, feeling her wanting to let go and me pulling her even closer. The tension from the passed days left my body through tears, unannounced and without warning. “Oh my God that bad” was all she could say, understanding that yet another battle was to be fought during this visit. 

Times have been tough here and Mom is not able to let go of her anger and bitterness she holds towards me. The tension is due to me leaving her behind as she calls my departure to a different country. It has built over the years and gets stronger the longer I’m away. There has been no resolve for many years and I feel that I’m close to reaching a breaking point. Again I am thinking back to my Rock Bottom oracle card and the meaning of not being able to go on in the same fashion I have been. I have tried over and over to make peace with Mom, but I’m beginning to believe that nothing will ever change the disgust she feels for me. Even if I was to return, I can’t picture that she would forgive me for the years passed. It’s obvious that she thinks that no good daughter, mind you an only daughter would do such a thing and leave her mother behind. I don’t know how to fix things with her and maybe this is not what this trip was meant to be. Maybe it is to realize that things are beyond the point of fixing. She thinks that I’m responsible for her life, the house and her care and this is where my place is, regardless of my own life and situation. Her anger and withdrawal of all love is my punishment and her way of paying back the pain I have caused her by leaving. I never knew she wanted me to stay and feelings are taboo with Mom. The one thing I ever wanted, a Mother / Daughter relationship is withheld from me and out of reach. 

It was interesting to cook a meal today and it’s obvious that I can’t do anything right. I wonder how I survived on my own for so long. It’s been a week of truths and revelations, aha-moments and realizations, and I have learned a lot. I’m still chasing a ghost, a mothers love that was never meant for me. Angie asked me how many more years I’m willing to let this continue and allow the psychological stress to ruin my health. I don’t know and I’m not even sure if it’s in my control just yet. From my end, the Daughter / Mother bond is strong and was always something I hoped to have and strengthen. Regardless the mean things she has said to me during the short time of being here, there are definitely moments I despise her, but the anger never lasts. Maybe just like her, my love for her will once be replaced with feelings similar as the ones she holds for me. I’m not there yet and in the meantime I remain a puppet for the whipping of Mom’s moods and how she sees fit of treating me. 

This week’s insights were rough but tomorrow is another day….
I have learned that my life was given to me, but was never meant to be my own. I challenge that and it is perhaps the very problem. 

I have learned that even if I was here, there is no help that can be given as long as no help is accepted. There has to be realization that there is a need. 

I have learned that bitterness, disgust and disrespect for me runs deeper than any shred of love ever has. It has been replaced and I’m not worthy of anything else in her eyes. 

I have learned that a Mother/Daughter relationship will remain to be an elusive dream and that it will take a miracle for anything more. 

I have learned that I’m stupid, too dumb, that I know nothing and that I will never amount to anything. Of course I do know better, but I don’t have to prove it. Even though my mother, she is ONE person who believes such shitty thing and she is the minority.
Angie’s heart bleeds for me as she tries to understand where I find the strengths to endure the punishment. Besides that I have also learned something without the directness from my mom despite her influence for such. 

I have a breaking point and eventually the day might come that I will stay away as she will have pushed me once too many times. All hope will have vanished and the “stupid” shroud will lift to reveal with clarity that I can no longer chase after what’s not meant to be. If hate and disgust is all she feels for me, I don’t see how this will continue. Perhaps it would be much better to stay out of her life and save her the disappointment, disgrace and shame. 

I know it’s the anger talking but I had to get it off of my chest as I do not want to carry this energy around with me. 

Posted in Life

The arrival 

Travel day was smooth for the most part and it helped to split the long flight up with a connection in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a four hour flight from Sacramento and my connecting flight to Frankfurt Germany will take another 8+hours. Flying into Frankfurt was gray with low hanging fog. The top of a few skyscrapers from the city-line were piercing through the cloud-fog cover and gave a mysterious appearance. Germany would stay hidden from me for a little while longer and keep its surroundings largely at a secret. After exiting the plane, I walked up to the luggage carousel from a quick bathroom break and saw my suitcase coming down the belt, only a few feet from me, it was perfect. A few people (other passengers) even looked at me a bit funny and perhaps they had waited awhile already and I made it look so easy, walking up and grabbing my case. I managed to handle my luggage without a cart and walked right through customs. No note and nothing, I would later find that my suitcase made it through untouched and unopened. A first, I think. I was surprised and elated that the rental car counter was right outside the gate and that I didn’t have to go far at all. This flight came in through a different terminal, much closer to the rental counter and without any escalators and stairs to tackle, awesome. Little did I know that all the smoothness was about to end. “What do you mean there is no car reservation under my name” I said. Quickly we discovered that the reservation was made for a different location by accident instead of the airport location. I enjoyed a 15 minute taxi ride, through fog and heavy morning traffic to the heart of Frankfurt (which I was trying to avoid), while trying to remember to find my way back out once I got the car. Everything was ok, but it was me who created a little bit of stress for myself, about the fog, not having driven in Germany for over two years and then with a foreign vehicle etc. and just wait till you see the vehicle hahaha. Not at all what I expected, but it’s growing on me and it’s great practice for what’s to come times ten or so. Well, it did have navigation, and so it did eliminated the stress of finding my way through the concrete jungle. And I still took a wrong turn. Ha. 

Finally I was free and on the A3, the Autobahn that would lead me to my Mom’s house. Let’s see how fast this thing drives….just kidding and not yet and definitely not through the fog. I drove for awhile getting a feel for the car and the surrounding traffic before I finally stopped at a rest stop. It was time to freshen up and make myself as presentable as possible for “The big meeting” with Mom (ridiculous), and it was there in the parking lot that I had my first “Wiener Schnitzel”, my favorite drink and a Pretzel. Man was it delicious, I could definitely get used to it and it was good to be home. I took my time driving towards my Mom’s house and drove through the country in parts, leaving the autobahn and the speed behind. There was much to take in and I had finally arrived. The fog had lifted for the most part, making the drive much easier, but there was still plenty hidden in the unknown that was lying ahead of me. My mind continued to replay the scenarios of endless possibilities, but eventually, the closer I made to the house, the more relaxed I got and the less I worried. It was out of my control and there was nothing I could do. Perhaps even how it was meant to be.

Mom was at the bottom of the stairs, tending to her adopted stray cat as I came into the house and a smile indicated that she was genuinely happy to see me. Right away she pointed out some dirt in the corners, while explaining her dilemma of not being able to keep up. Second she stated that she has to go see another doctor tomorrow and that she might be admitted into the hospital. “You picked a great time for a visit” followed next, as if signaling the end of pleasantries. I was too tired to care and for the first time I started to feel the long haul catching up. I was exhausted, starting to feel nauseous and sick. I managed to vacuum Mom’s kitchen (don’t ask) and she wanted to go eat since she didn’t have any food in the house. She had no clue that I felt as if I had travelled around the world and that I was tired. I should have not freshened up and perhaps I looked better than I felt. I would have to remind her several times that some things just have to wait for now. “Why” she would exclaim over and over, unable to understand. And of course there was that comment about the outfit I wore and my hair (I’m not sure if it would have made a difference, had the straightener not broke) and I got to say my prepared response that I wasn’t pursuing a fashion show during the approximately 36 hours from the time I last slept. I even added that I would wonder how she looked if she had just undergone such a long trip, asking her if she could even imagine. Of course not and she has never visited me in all the years. There as no response. Are you kidding me? I blew the little indicators off, and took some valued advice. The first days are crucial, have patience, relax and take some deep breaths. I did all of it. Geeeee….

After a short debate, I took her to her favorite place, fortress Colmberg, a now privately owned medieval hotel / guesthouse. We sat in the sunroom addition with coffee and cake while overlooking the land. She lightened up, just like the sun that was shining through the Glas, warming up the day while the storm clouds and showers were still lingering. Eventually we left and I decided, now with my 10th wind and another boost of sudden energy from the cake, that we would take a little drive through the country. Mom enjoyed the ride, being out of the house and seeing something else. We stopped for groceries on the way home, but walking remains to be a huge challenge. I can’t lie about how awful it was to see Mom’s legs. I’m truly surprised she still has them and they have not been amputated. Maybe it is just now that they are worse and they are not always as bad. I sure hope so but I’m not sure, I only know they are worse than I remember from the last visit. But for today, all is well and tomorrow is another day that can bring a different message. It will come either way but for today Mom got to spend time at one of her favorite of places.  

Posted in Life

Darkness

I’m still in the air and the majority of the flight has been in darkness. As I look out the tiny oval window, I see the vast unknown lit up by sparkling stars, and I can’t help but think of what lies ahead. I lucked out and got two seats to myself, but I still can’t sleep and instead countless scenarios flood my mind about the reunion with my Mom. I wonder how she imagines me or what the initial moment will be like when she sees me. She is outspoken and I’m bracing for her directness that might wound my heart if I don’t relate to her estranged way of joking. She has forgotten how to properly communicate and interact and I feel as if I might get the brunt of it. I’m sure she is not going to approve of my sweats and casual shirt, but this long haul was not meant as a fashion show to me. I wanted to be as comfortable as possible and didn’t know what to expect with the RA. The pills and the adrenaline is working and I’m holding up, thank you steroids and ibuprofen. I’m afraid she won’t be able to relate or consider this and most likely she won’t be able to leave behind the shallow statements. I’m prepared….I think and I hope. I’m not trying to portray her as cold and unthoughtful, I’m just releasing my thoughts, confiding in this blog and in you. Most likely a few days will have past if and when I can post this, so everything will always be behind. 

You would have it that my straightener broke this morning and I couldn’t doll up my hair. Curly it is now and unruly to her I’m sure. It’s either too flat on my face if it’s straight or it appears as if it is not taken care of and maintained. Well it’s definitely not flat and straight this time. It will also be the first time that she can see all the gray process of my hair and while I have come to love my silver, I’m not sure what she will say. Apparently her hair is completely white but I have seen no picture of her in two years and don’t know what to expect.

So here I am and as I sit here and stare into the darkness I see much that is unknown ahead of me. The answers are lurking out there somewhere with some soon to be revealed I hope. But I also see brilliant moments and it is in the stars that shine my way through the night sky out there. I hold on and embrace the sparkle while reminding myself that no star could shine without darkness. Everything will be ok, but I know a decision is awaiting and needs to be made.

Posted in Life

Burning Man 

Burning Man is a annual event located in the Black Rock Desert not too far from my house. Each year people from all over the world pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars to participate and enter in the festivities of Hope, Faith, Love and Forgiveness. Burning Man is filled with art and creativity while offering acceptance to everyone without judgement for who you are, how you dress, your wildest dreams and/or your vivid imagination. If you can dream it up, Burning Man is a place to make it a reality. Burning Man is the ultimate party and celebration of a year long preparation of elaborate rides and statues galore. My town showcases recent Burning Man Statues, displayed throughout the city and it’s pretty neat. I recently came across one such elaborate ride with Michigan lisence plates and I can’t help but wonder about the journey and the stories this vessel must have seen.

 

Posted in Inspiration, Life

Warp speed

Time is racing for me lately and it’s hard to believe that I will be boarding the big one (plane) on Sunday. High above the clouds I will find myself en route to Germany and already I can picture it in my mind. I hope that time slows a bit once I’m there and that it won’t pass in the blink of an eye. I’m taking a little journal to record the days, to use it for entries, pictures and special moments. I might even be able to convince my little nieces to write something in it for me. It will become one of a kind, a special keepsake. Kind of like a poetry book I once had in school. It was meant to be passed around form every schoolmate to every teacher and two pages were dedicated to the person you had given it too. One page would hold a picture or drawing of some sort while the opposite page was filled with a handwritten poem and well wishes for your future. I still have mine tucked away in a special place in Germany and I’m sure I will dig it out once I’m home. I have done so each time and for the most part it is my Dad’s poem that I revisit. I know it by heart but I have to touch the pages and the writing of the pen that once was gliding across the paper to leave these beautiful heartfelt markings. To this day his words touch my heart and I never swayed from his advice. Today was pretty much my last day off and my vacation starts on Saturday. These last days are filled with work and errands, notes and reminders scratched on paper. Here and there one might get scratched out, and I manage to steal time for this blog and staying connected somewhat. I had my appointment with the rheumatologist last week. It was a wake up call to sit in the waiting room. Most people were older than me, but in bad shape. Walking on crutches, all I had to do is look at their swollen knuckles and I could relate to their pain without a word being necessary. Some were hunched over and unable to stand up straight, others needed help, each one with the same pain in their eyes. My heart sank, for them and the pain that must be endured with such an ugly disease. Was this my future I wondered, already there in some respects but still feeling strong to fight and not letting it become my destiny. How foolish to think that I had any choice in this matter. I’m sure that the people in the waiting room weren’t happy about their circumstances either. Perhaps they once felt the same as I did, putting up the best fight possible and the ugly disease still won. Once again the oracle card came to mind and I remembered. Rock Bottom – surrender and let go of all control. Don’t fight it, but be prepared for a new start. It was in that moment that I let go. I surrendered and let myself fall, unafraid and I just knew that my faith would catch me. Later on that day I sent the email and declined the chance of promoting. 

The doctor was a nurse practitioner and I liked her. She listened to all my symptoms, carefully noting them and ordering a barrage of tests. She wasn’t going to prescribe anything until the test results were in and I already like her. She listened to my vantage points about pharmaceuticals and I told her about my fear of the long trip to Germany. In the end she asked me and prescribed steroids just in case things got worse and to hold the disease at bay until I get back. I have not started taking them and I should to let them kick in, but I have also started to take something natural and I guess I’m still hoping to see a difference there. Since my rheumatologist visit, I’ve been running around to get my hands and wrists x-rayed and for a moment I feared that she would tell me that I can’t write anymore. Today I finally managed to to get my blood work done. It took two attempts, (who know these tests are only performed Monday through Thursday and have to be done before 11 AM…further wasted time) 11 different tests, and 7 vials of blood. Plus an arm and a leg as far as the cost. Now it’s time to wait and see if there will be answers and what comes next. 

I have been talking about the seriousness of my trip to Germany, but I also believe that it will be a lot different this time. I feel I have grown in many ways, but mostly in my spiritual journey and feeling firsthand that things can change in an instance. I feel that there is an even deeper appreciation and sense of wonder, something unlike anything I felt before. Good has come from the RA, even though it’s been painful, but it has stretched me even further. It helped me listen to myself, to put myself first and to finally find the courage to follow through. To take a stand for myself and to say that this is not how I see my future. To make whatever time is left count, for we never know how much time is left. It helped me become more appreciative, to pause even more, and to truly try to live life vs. existing. I want more these days than just to exist, and I have a hunger that is being redirected towards what should have always mattered the most. The difference now is that I CAN DO IT and I’m not tied down with financial responsibilities. So in going home, I know that I will breath deeper than I ever have before. And so it is that although some things are daunting and downright scary, my soul will nourish as it returns back home. 

And while I would tell you to never say never, I painted this one during a time when I believed that certain things don’t need to be repeated. Do not be taken a fool, ever again, to not allow being taken advantage of or taken for granted. It comes full circle even more so and the meaning of it continues to grow. It is sealed with my fingerprint in the flower petals, vowing to be strong and to…. Never again. 🦋💙

Posted in Career, Life

Groomed for disaster 

You could say that I had a great career, I made it in a strange country other than where I grew up and success always followed me no matter what position I held. For the majority of my working years, I have been in upper management, executing company direction, recruiting talent, as well as inspiring and developing such to move up the corporate ladder. I have held a career many would aspire towards and at times their drive to attain what they envisioned as “power” was poisoned with jealousy and envy. Today I realize that the meaning of success depends highly on your take of what a great, successful career is. These days, I would give you a much different definition of success and what it means to me now. It has little to do with status and prestige. It’s not a matter of power and control, even though there will always be those who enjoy superiority over others. I never have, but I enjoyed making a difference for people, being a mentor and being in a position that allowed me to help others achieve their goals by making them come true. Those have truly been some of the happiest moments in my career and what has made it all worthwhile. 

Today I would also tell you that the higher you climb the corporate ladder, the lonelier it get’s. Not all tops have a beautiful view and I have seen the corporate world turn corrupt with greed and a never satisfied hunger to outperform prior performances. To do and expect more with less as I can’t help but wonder where the work-life balance is. It’s missing and more stress is added. Should I be surprised of how many suffer and are sick, how many may never have the quality of life to enjoy retirement, given they reach it age wise or are able to retire financially. It’s not normal that we force ourselves to perform at such levels and you can’t tell me that there are no consequences to pay for it. By now, you have probably noticed how passionate I am about this subject, because I do believe that there is more to life and some key drivers are education, encouragement and choice. If you can do it for awhile, save up and get out, do it. If you are good at it and can make a career of it, go for it but keep an eye on the years. I did it for too long.

Recent events forced me to take a look back at how it all came to be. There was a time I had no choice but to promote. I blame it on my work ethic as it was always what got me noticed. Pretty soon I was in special classes, finding myself groomed to take on additional responsibilities. I never turned down a promotion and I have always moved up. Whether it was due to needing the extra income, or simply not being able to get out of it, because after all, you’d be weird if you didn’t want to promote or have some goals of moving up, right? How could you not have aspirations and how could you not want to brag about status and compete with the next person. You’d be simply boring, lacking enthusiasm and drive. End of story, nobody would ever relate to this. I always promoted and I always worked my tail off, simply because I don’t know how to give anything less than a 100%. 

The RA has forced my work habits into surrender these days and I can’t work like I used to in my twenties anymore. I probably wouldn’t be able to either way, with or without the RA. A couple of weeks ago I was asked to join TAP, a Talent acquisition program, designed for the next level, ready to promote. I agreed and felt honored and appreciated, I truly was. It is a great feeling when your hard work doesn’t goes unnoticed and your talent is appreciated. Much of the prep for the upcoming program was smooth and familiar, filled with prior experiences, it felt like an old, familiar routine. And then it hit me and who was I kidding? The timing for this could have not been more off, and it might as well never be right again for me. Was it ever, I wonder? There is much to anticipate in Germany that might occupy my mind in more important means than a new career. It already does either way and whether I’m here or there, the facts remain the same. A part of me is very appreciative, while the rest of me feels like I have been there and done it. I was thinking of my Rock Bottom Oracle card. True freedom is attained only through complete surrender. My interpretation means to move aside and to let new, young talent emerge and take the reigns who are still interested in building a career. I wonder what my future was going to be health-wise, adding more stress to the mix while I’m trying so hard to eliminate it! While I struggle already and sometimes don’t know how to face the day! Isn’t my body already trying to tell me what I need to know? Days went by and I felt guilty of letting my boss down. I waited, instead of making a hasty decision, but nothing changed. Instead more news came and I realized how truly needed I am in Germany. Ultimately there is no doubt that I need to go home. The “eventually” (going home) has turned into a “ASAP”, pressed with a urgency as time is running out to truly make this happen. 

My heart continued to feel heavy each time I passed by the training package on the dinning room table. The joy and excitement I should have felt about promoting was largely overshadowed by the unknown and a future that needs to unfold on its own vs. being controlled in ways it is not meant to be. Finally, I made a decision and wrote a thank you email in honor and appreciation, but also in declining the offer of moving forward at this time. For the first time in my career, I felt that I had a choice and that I didn’t have to go through with something that wasn’t a fit. I’m not saying that it’s not a fit, but timing is everything. Money didn’t matter anymore and was definitely not forcing me into something I didn’t want to do. I was in control of dedicating my time, to pursue my passions, for as much as possible and to reconnect during times of solitude. I had a choice, and a wild choice it was. One that took courage and one that made me stand up for what is right for me. One that I will always remember and one that allowed me to become the architect of my own life. Will it always be this way, I don’t know, but if I can help it, YES, because let me tell you, it felt pretty darn good afterwards. A huge burden was lifted to focus on the things that need my foremost attention and the effort of keeping stress at bay. There still is plenty to come working in retail over the holidays, haha. 

The face of relief and enjoying a wild moment with Mother Nature and getting caught in the rain. Money can’t buy this…..

Posted in Life, Oracle Cards

Rock Bottom – or is it now?


It’s been a few weeks ago that I drew a new oracle card. I was wondering what guidance and insight the deck would have for me at this point of my journey, as I carefully removed the cards from their silk satchel. I was ready for another card and felt the anxiety building within. I have done several readings for myself by now including a few for friends. Of course you could find skeptics who don’t believe in this sort of thing and might think the descriptions are vague or could be fitting for a variety of scenarios. Most likely it is also the same kind of people you won’t find owning an oracle or tarot deck, and that is ok. For myself, I have to say that I have grown quite found of my oracle deck “The enchanted map” by Colette Baron-Reid. I have felt a special connection right form the beginning, and have chosen to believe in the signs and the wisdom the cards hold for me. It’s hard to explain what it mean when I say that I felt a special connection, and it’s something that has to be experienced and felt from person to person. It’s definitely not a one fits all, but when it does, it’s quite incredible. Every card I have drawn so far was right on (for myself and others) with almost an spooky kind of accuracy, not that there is anything scary about it. I promise you become a believer when the cards outline your current situation and you find relevance to your life in their meaning. The cards are a tool, a guide that may point to answers and resolutions, a chance to ponder or evoke a new thought process otherwise not considered. You might entertain a different point of view altogether. Further, for me there remains a healthy respect for the deck and the spiritual experience they bring while shuffling the cards. There is a little nervousness, but it is one that is of good nature and doesn’t have to be feared. 

This time was no different and I started shuffling my cards. I held the deck for a moment and stopped once I felt that my card had found it’s way to the top. There it was, still face down, waiting to be turned over, revealed and viewed by only me. I took one last deep breath, grabbed the card and turned it to face me. I briefly looked at the graphic, unaware, as my eyes quickly scanned the name of the card…. #10. Rock Bottom 

I would lie to say that it didn’t scare the wits out of me at first sight. I felt my heart pound and sink at the same time. My first reaction was frightful as countless thoughts raced through my brain. Rock Bottom a turn prior known for having hit the lowest of lows, how could drawing this card be a good thing? I starred at it for a moment and another deep breath followed. Finally, I began reading the generic description of the card, there was no backing out now and here is what it claimed. 
“Surrender and acceptance are the keys to freedom.”
As difficult as it may be to accept, it seems that you’ve reached a point where you can go no further in the same manner in which you’ve been doing things. Perhaps you’ve hit a proverbial brick wall, or experienced a deep sense of loss and don’t know where to turn. The old way of doing things must be discarded fully in order to move onward and upward. A new direction and a new strategy are called for. The only way out is through surrender. Accept things as they are, and admit that you have no idea what to do next. If you wait in that heartfelt moment of release, then a stairway will appear, like magic, and all manner of synchronicities will show you the way to higher ground. The Rock Bottom card is a sign that a miracle is about to occur, but only if you let go completely.

Needless to say I got passed my initial scare and the card became much more comforting. I went a step further and researched the card meaning online. It was said that this card was actually the barer of a quite positive message and in no way had it to do with the worst state of one’s life. It made reference to a snake shedding its skin and a caterpillar going into its cocoon. Metamorphosis all over again, urging me to shed the old and welcoming the new. Emerging a sleeker self and blossoming into a beautiful butterfly. Receiving is key as well as releasing old fears. Sometimes the fear of the unknown keeps us sticking around, unable to take advantage of the bountiful beautiful life that is all around us. We stay in the safety of what we know while we compromise and prolong, sometimes even give up the life that is meant for us. We don’t see the abundance in the opportunities and stay within our safe rut. 

It was talking about de cluttering ones space to prepare for the miracles that are about to come. (A constant mission of mine with too slow and too little progress, due to too little time, working full-time and being tired). Donating and getting rid of unnecessary things that block the flow of energy, basically the things that no longer serve me. It is barely simple how I come to that conclusion these days. Just try it with me and pick up anything in your house and hold the item. Look at it and ask yourself if it brings joy to you, does it strike up emotions, how does it make you feel. If you want to declutter and the answer is “No” “Meh” or something else unfavorable, maybe it’s time to part ways with that item. In the beginning, I did a few virtual practice runs by just looking around the room, asking myself to find the things that do bring joy. I was amazed of how little there was truly left and that is why I know that with ease I could live in my tiny school bus home one day. This also works fabulous with clothing. How do you feel wearing that outfit? Meh or does it make you feel beautiful? You decide for which to go for. Settle or empower, the choice is yours. If you ask me, you should feel nothing less than beautiful and life is too short, but I’m getting sidetracked into another post here. 

Lastly it said to be on high alert, to look for signs and to not miss a thing. To go outside, meditate with palms wise open towards the sky, connect to the divine and your higher self. Expect nothing short of miracles and be prepared to receive. Your positive expectation is the key to the door of opportunity. 

I surely felt much better and in the end I was glad that it was this card that found it’s way to the surface. Now a few weeks later, it is also that a few things have already fallen into place in this journey that is ever changing. Stay tuned…

Posted in Life, Mother nature, My story

Ripples

It’s not every day that you get to swim in an alpine lake, even though for me it is quite possible during the summer months, since I live amongst many. I’m lucky and don’t take it a moment for granted. I recently had a couple of opportunities to go for a swim and was reminded of how truly wonderful it is. 

I’ve noticed a difference with the RA (Rheumatoid arthritis) and came to the conclusion that the cold water helped with the swelling and restricting of the blood vessels. Less pain, which is wonderful at this point. I have an appointment with a rheumatologist on Tuesday and I’m hoping for insight and choices. I’m not a pill taker and I won’t be thrilled about that option. I’m sure it will be the recommendation as there is no money in other options for the pharmaceutical business. If so, I will continue to seek natural and alternative ways and the pill poison will be temporary until my lifestyle changes. 

But this is not really what I wanted this post to be about. There was something I noticed, looking at the picture afterwards. I saw the ripples that emerged around my body in small, circular waves, almost like a heartbeat coming from the center of it, from ME. I noticed the movement that came from me and that was created to keep afloat. I noticed how it was affecting my surroundings. I saw the ripples as messengers, vibrational emotions sent out into the world. Further I studied how they fit into the scene, where they disruptive, creating havoc or were they at peace. I felt that they were harmonious which I credit to the way Mother Nature makes me feel when I’m out in the wild. I have a passion for her and I’m at peace for those hours spent within her glory. 

Back to the ripples, I think there are ripples that we create each day. Some visible, while others remain hidden, everything is affected by our motion which is ruled by our feelings and the choices we make. Have you ever wondered what signals we are sending and how our ripples look like? Are there consequences of our doing, and how do they impact our surroundings / ourselves? I often find myself in deep thought, a dreamlike state, as how I would envision a philosopher, analyzing things like these, while wondering if anyone else truly ever thinks about that stuff. I’m sure and I can’t be the only one, but I do think that it is rare and a gift we should cherish if we can be still enough to allow thoughts like these to surface. 

My ripples are noticeable right now as I’m softly peddling to stay afloat, but they will change if I want to pursue the life I see for myself. There is a storm brewing inside of me, that has been suppressed for far too long, and that will increase in size and the strengths of my ripples. I know it will and I’m preparing for the eye of the storm. I’m not afraid and my ripples are still smooth. I know that at one point they will become huge walls that might threaten to drown me, but I have faith. The whole process of coming into myself has shaped me, with new meanings and understandings each day. A few require action to fight for what I believe in and I know that the time is nearing. As the ripples become stronger, they, or I will have to make some waves before everything will settle down and find it’s harmony like it was always meant to be. I can see the future and what will be. The path and the ripples might be rocky and wavy at times, but it’s a beautiful thing in the process of my journey and in the process of arriving.