I have a problem that is very common and there is really only one way acknowledged to successfully work against this problem, but I am a hard case. I spend far too much time and energy tilting at windmills, when - as important people in my life pointed out this week (one at the top of his lungs and one in loud CAPITAL LETTERS on e-mail) "There is only one thing for this. Do it!" I was kicked in the arse and lovingly embraced across a couple of weeks time, sometimes the same person both kicking and embracing. A special woman friend has been to this particular rodeo and told me the simple nuts and blots of how this thing is done. She didn't kick me in the arse, but was gentle and sisterly at all times. My head emerged from the clouds or came up out of the sucking mudhole, whichever nice picture does it better for you. I've spent a week doing nothing as I usually do and everything as I never do . . . and I have something new. I have hope. For the first time in a very, very long time. I will be blogging about it over time - it's too new and raw to unveil in one fell swoop when I haven't blogged for a week and have other things to write about, too.
To provide some balance, I will also say I have fewer problems than most people and I am more fortunate than many in all kinds of ways. I am deeply grateful for that. I am liked and loved by people I want to like and love me because I like and love them. I am blessed in that I have not been hurt by the economy very badly. Oh, I'm not on the rocket ship to the Planet Money any longer, but I have what I need and more. I can do nice things and not worry about it. Dylan, VW and I eat well, see doctors when we need to, are warm in the winter, cool in the summer. And it's just about to be autumn. For a few short weeks I can open the sliding glass door and Dylan can sniff at real air - he's an addict. My body is in good health. I still learn new things. My work is meaningful to me. I find things to laugh at every single day.
9/11/01 is a day that will go down in infamy, but to me it is a special good day. You see, I had no crystal ball, so I'd made big plans for that day. When Amber came down the stairs very early that morning to say, "You guys better turn on the TV and see what's happening!", we were shocked, like everyone else. Would the plans we'd set out so carefully have to be postponed? What should we do? My mother was coming, too. A quick phone call: "Mom, I think we're at war!" "With whom?" "I can't tell you. I don't think they know yet."
Ex was good in a pinch. He said, "Nobody has called to tell us differently, so let's do exactly what we're supposed to be doing if the world wasn't going to hell before our eyes." Good thought! Amber teared up badly when we parted. Her task for the day was to go to school as usual and go to Cousin's home after school while the rest of us completed my big plans. She'd been offered many options, and that was her choice. She stuck to task, like the soldier she is. Our lives were changing, she knew, and now the world seemed to be changing, as well. To my amazement, in San Diego that day, my little tiny world moved forward as planned. You see, I'd made a decision about 18 months prior and had spent that much time trying to make something happen. It required persistence, a lot of money, overcoming challenges, overcoming "NO", and a myriad of other details and setbacks.
It happened! You see, I had a problem then, too. It was a big problem of decades duration that affected the first 50 years of my life, give or take 18-20 years in bits and pieces. It affected others around me and held me back from some successes and achievements I may have enjoyed. Oh, I've had a few of those, but I could have been more. I could have done better. But on that notorious day, I took the step to fix the problem. Eight years later, the problem remains fixed, which makes me a minority, by far. There is no question that my big fix created other, new problems, some of which are not fixed and some of which cannot be fixed. But for me, September 11th is the day I call my second birthday, the one I gave myself.
This post is so full of the essence of the me of right now that I held it overnight on purpose. It is so raw and so much from the deepest inside of me, I wanted to re-read it in the daylight on the first day of my next year here. It is imperfect, but I'll live with it. I'll post it.
I started this morning in some very familiar ways: ground the coffee beans, boiled the water for the French press, provided a huge bowl of freshly filtered Brita water demanded by Dylan with head-butts to my shin and by VW with her mouth going non-stop. I checked out the blogs briefly and I e-mailed a little. The place doesn't look quite as thrashed as it seemed last night - maybe a couple of serious hours of tidying up will be enough. Then I sat quietly, and that is very unfamiliar. I closed out everything else except me, including closing the door to the cats. I worked on one small, pesky annoyance until it doesn't seem very pesky any longer. I planned my day in such a way as to include some rest breaks - lying down, reading a book, maybe-even-snoozing rest breaks. I planned a letter of love to a friend (not to be confused with a love letter). I briefly thought out a quick e-mail to Mother Badger. I took out a workbook and spent 5 whole minutes exploring options to address another annoyance. Two hours into my day, I'm feeling it, still ~ hope. And I'm reminding myself that I do have a little personal history of making tough decisions, taking steps, and resolving problems.
In my ears right now: Nothing. I've been advised to try a little silence, and I am doing so. It's not bad.
Something that charmed me: In my short period of discovery, I learned how much the blog means to me. I learned that I must write something often. Write for myself and absolutely no one else. And I already have enough experience to know that when you put down what you feel, you will connect with someone who will say something, and you'll write more, and so it goes.
Some photo credits: J. D. Morehouse