Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Standing solid like a stone....

There seems to be a common theme to my life at the moment.  Endure.  When something happens that would have upset my equilibrium where, in the past, I would have been knocked sideways now I am learning to stand solid and endure the waves.  Not in a "what can't be cured must be endured" kind of way, not as a martyr who stands and shudders as the lash strikes, but in a simpler way...  more like making the upset not so much of a priority, and not making someone else's emergency create chaos.  Like a stone that water washes over, I am learning slowly that the water won't hurt me and I don't have to allow the flooding to affect my mood, my actions, my life.  That isn't to say that I am always unaffected.  When it comes to those I care for I am able to take actions for the good to make sure I have done the right thing at the time.  Starting small and working towards having that reaction every time has made me feel more centered.  I understand more now who I am and what I need for myself.  I also understand that I have a hard, focused part of my personality that I can allow to override my fears so I can act instead of react. 

There have been a few bites of chaos in my otherwise quiet and rather peaceful life.  My dear baby brother "R" had a mini stroke;  he was worried for me and sent me a message so I would know where he was and what had happened.  I left work.  Simple as that.   Where before I would have been frozen with being unable to make a decision I told my employer "I have a family emergency", locked most of the place up tight and went where I needed to be.   He was sitting alone in Emergency and uncomfortable in the nasty bed...  not a fun gig, to be sure.  But his condition was stable and he was incredibly glad to see me.  I stayed at his side until he was ready to finally get some sleep and drove home again.  It felt right for the first time in a long time, acting the way I needed to instead of the way someone else thought I was supposed to.

Then work; one of my regular customers had a terrible fall and I was first on the scene.  Dear God, I have never seen so much blood.....  the poor lady was laying on the floor unconscious and had split her head open on a fixture.  I acted by rote; call the "code", put pressure on the wound, supporting her head, get a customer to call 911 and wait.  I was joined quickly by other staff, but I could not let up the pressure on the gash in her forehead, and I needed to keep her on her side as her nose was also bleeding and I needed to keep her airways clear.  I'm so glad I always wear those little black gloves, and I had used so much paper towel for the compress that it didn't bleed through....  tossed the gloves and sanigel'd my hands up the wazoo afterwards!   And for the first time I felt what pure, clean adrenaline really feels like!  Not the sick manic feeling of being out of control and pulled behind a runaway horse, but with a firm hand on the reins, giving me the strength and focus I needed during a crisis without the horrible after-feeling that comes with not acting... and the ability to absorb the shock without burying it later or allowing it to continue to echo through me. 

There is no jitteryness, no aimless wandering, no inability to focus.  I just "am".  Calm.  It feels like peace.

I laughed the other day when a coworker told me they were worried that confrontation with another staff member would restrict their hours... and I told them "suck it up, smile, be courteous... it makes them crazy when you don't react..."...  and it's something I said with a big smile on my face and a chuckle in my voice.  Because I know from personal experience that when you fake that until you feel it, eventually it all calms down and smooths out, like the ripples on water when you drop a stone into it.  The stone is still a stone, it's the water that is moving.  Now I get to carry that peace with me.  It flows from me and is attracting those who need it.  No judgement.  No aggression.  No anger.  No more open, wounded feeling.  Just daily acceptance that the world is where it needs to be and so am I.

Now I'm going to enjoy a few days off and take care of myself... a little rest, a little time with friends, a little creativity and a lot of peace.  Well, I somehow don't seem to need that caffe mocha vodka valium latte....  and I'm not going anywhere....  

Friday, March 2, 2012

One step up at a time...

I am again stepping into the storm and trying to steer my way out without floundering. Living life in a normal way has not been normal for me.  Giving myself permission after waiting for it elsewhere is so new that I second guess myself a lot of the time.  I get myself caught in small details instead of keeping my head down and concentrating on one thing at a time.  But it's spring, and really time for spring cleaning at last.  That includes airing out my head, as well as my house! I have embraced the idea that taking care every day and keeping my home maintained will do more for me than all the soul searching and "belly button" examinations I could spend time on.  Having my floors clean, the bathrooms smelling fresh, dishes done and tidied and clothing folded and put away lifts my spirits more than clinging to an illusion of company on my Facebook pages.  I have moved my sewing station back into the kitchen where I can enjoy the sound of the television blaring music while I have movies playing in the background as an illusion of company, and I am getting things done.  Meals are actually quite regular, the dogs are happy, the cats sleep in comfort on my bed and dream.

The most amazing and joyful thing in my life is my dear little Grandson!  "C" is the center of the family universe, the reason I work so hard to be normal.  I am also facing the anniversary of my Mom's passing....  I miss Mom so very much, every day.  Having my little Grandson to love now makes it so bittersweet.  Mom would have loved him and been proud of us all....  my wonderful, strong, loving daughter, my amazing sons, and me making one step after another... a bit slow at times, but still moving ahead where I can, when I can.  When I think that I "can't" I just ask myself "what would Mom do?"...  and what she would have done is take stock of what she had, make do when she could, make something out of what was on hand, and just keep going.   I have plenty to work with, I'm lucky enough to have my health, I have lots of free time to do what is needed, and I'm certainly no slouch when it comes to "invention"....  I do, however, have a problem sometimes remembering there are some things I CAN'T do.... like lift 80 lbs....  over and over... without hurting!  Or leap tall buildings at a single bound!

Truth is, I am a hoarder.  I hoard stacks of paper, memorabilia, fabric scraps, coloured egg shells, threads, cooking equipment, recipes...  for me, each piece of paper evokes a memory or a reminder of something; the broken saxophone, the blue ribbons from the fair, the last letter from Mom, the children's watercolours, envelopes from friends who have sent me things...  sometimes I use the chaos created by the piles and boxes as a distraction.  I "hide" from the rest of the world behind "to do" lists that really have nothing "to do" with everyday living but are in fact a reason to NOT go out into the world.   But I have lived too long in "dream time" and need to feel the world again.  Feel the wind in my hair, the rain on my face, sunshine, moonlight, the wonderful aliveness that I feel in the cold...There have been moments over the last couple of weeks where I felt myself drifting and unstable.  Those are the times I literally stand with my feet planted and feel the weight of my body holding me to the ground.  I am all the anchor I need right now.  No amount of self deprecation, no amount of second guessing my responses to outside stresses, and no amount of worry will change that.  Take a deep breath and keep moving.  Just because someone else thinks they want something of me doesn't mean I have to give it.  And it doesn't mean I get to give up.  Yes, the legal battles continue, and no one can take care of my business except me.  I cannot quit looking at the problem or it will escape me, but it's no longer sending me into a tailspin of anxiety.   It doesn't take up all my thoughts or all my waking hours trying to solve some problem that isn't really a problem to begin with;  it's just a difference of opinion...  and I like my opinion much better...

So it's another weekend of quiet and listening to the little dogs upstairs and the kids downstairs....  I think it's "Beer Pong" night for them and their friends... For now I'm just taking it one step at a time and leaning on my friends when it gets too much.  I think of them as  "Angels at my back" right there with my Mom at the head of the line, with her right arm around me, lifting me up, and her left hand covering my heart, shielding me from hurt.... and in the meantime, I'll have a caffe mocha vodka valium latte to go... please!