Seeking My Best Self

trying to make sense of my life – and lose some weight

Pelted with Lemons

lemonWhen life throws me lemons…

I get bruised. (Lemons are HARD little suckers!)

My fatal flaw is that I tend to isolate myself during difficult times, which escalates my abandonment fears, which then become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Which, if I’m not careful, can quickly place me in a powerful plummet – the world’s scariest E-ticket ride. (Yes. An old person’s reference. Because I am an oldish person.)

But if I can avoid the self-centered spiral, there is opportunity for tremendous growth. If I look carefully at myself and my circumstance, I might just learn something.

For example, over the past few days, I’ve become acutely aware of my own negativity in the face of this crisis.

Well, that’s natural. Right?

Except that if I fall into negative thought, speech and action, I don’t benefit myself. Or those around me. After all, this isn’t the worst of the worst of the worst. It’s just a thing.  And things pass.  It’s important to choose a positive outlook – even in the midst of painful things. Especially in the midst of painful things. I mean, it’s easy to smile when life is easy. But it’s the smile when life is difficult that shows maturity and wisdom – and joy.

And that’s what I want for my life. Joy. Deep joy. Joy that isn’t shaken by external circumstance. Joy that looks for good things even in the midst of bad things.

So here are five good things:

  1. I’ve lost three pounds in the past couple of weeks. Three MORE pounds, and my Wii will quit yiping at me. Hurray!
  2. Cherry trees are in full bloom, their precocious puffs proclaiming the imminent arrival of Spring.
  3. Daffodils are everywhere. Tulips will soon follow.
  4. Daphne. Oh, sweet daphne, whose siren scent floats in the air. Daphne alone is cause for joy.
  5. Caring people, who didn’t wait for me to ‘let them in.’ They’re already here.

You know what? Compared to famine, war, disease – the current crisis just isn’t that big a deal. A confluence of forces created a hurricane, but if I look at each separately – meh.

Squall, storm, typhoon – they’re all just wind and rain. After this current sequence has passed through, I’ll mop up the mess and rejoice that the sun has returned.

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The Injustice of it All

I’ve been a wandering fool this year. Up to the Portland area. Two moves of my studio within P-town. Lots of exploring and trying on parts of the city for size. And through it all, the growing realization that there’s no place like home…

…and that as much as I LOVE PORTLAND, that’s not the loam where my roots twist and burrow.

salemSo last week, we moved back to the Cherry City. Well, outside it, actually, on a farm near Monmouth – a little college town that these days bears a strong resemblance to the Gilmore Girls’ Star’s Hollow.

I’m pissed. I am pissed as hell that Salem, stodgy old Salem is, for better or worse, home. I’ve been angry about it in the past. I’m beyond angry about it now that I’ve tried to return to the city of my childhood.

I’m mad at my late husband, who grew up in Salem and wanted to raise his kids in *his* hometown. Who after fifteen years decided he couldn’t take it anymore, killed himself, and left me stuck here, because my kids were firmly entrenched and I didn’t want to traumatize them any further by moving.

Where are those children today? They’re not here, of course. Salem isn’t their home, not anymore. They went away to college and developed new communities. They’ve tried to return…and left again. Most recently, Nick & Hanna returned with the intention of staying. They lasted three months before leaving because…well, it just isn’t home anymore. Their connections are elsewhere.

I’m pissed, pissed I tell you. I’m mad at the world, incensed with my fate…

and really, really happy to be back amongst those who know us, who love us, who are already filling our social calendar with happy reunions.

Needless to say, the only open thoroughfare in my psyche right now is Rollercoaster Road.

The injustice of it all! And the joy…


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