Midlife And Our Best Years Are Ahead Of Us

It’s possible. It matters whether we believe it or whether we believe it’s all downhill from here, that we’ve had too many losses and the world has become too weird. Yes, there will be inner fears and pain and outer gloom and evidence of decay and destruction. We can acknowledge how we feel and then refuse to dwell there.

Some of us have had quite a tragic and difficult life and it’s tempting to feel like there’s something inherently wrong with us. We might just not have what it takes to be fulfilled. If we are intelligent and worthy, wouldn’t we have figured out more about how to get what we want by now? Self-help books and blogs about success give ideas about what worked for others and we might notice that there are some things those folks take for granted, things that we believe are lacking in ourselves that will make the whole thing we might want to change or try, fail dismally. Maybe we feel too old, that life has passed us by and what’s left is the quiet desperation. Especially if we don’t have the temperament or personality or energy of the people with the how-to’s.

That’s a place I don’t want to stay in for long and I don’t really want to hang out with people who dwell in those places, although I wish them well. Maybe we simply don’t have all the information yet. Maybe we haven’t been reminded lately about how wonderful we are and that we have more choices than we think when it comes to creating a better life. Even if we’re no longer twenty. Or thirty. Or forty. Or fifty.

There can be lots of obstacles and problems we’re facing, but there’s also some areas where we are succeeding and learning amazing things on our own. For me, some insights and order to my health challenges became clear for me today. I’m on the right path. I’m doing it!

After my checking out and relaxing yesterday, I worked towards my goals today and stayed on track until……. Sometimes a sparkling delicious diversion shows up and we get to choose whether or not to explore it. Of course, we are responsible and want to keep our commitments. I mean like when today, I could read in the how-to novel writing book that I’d planned to study or play with the google art project that I just discovered online. Choosing the art site, I could have spent eight hours there. What would you have done?

Not all of the art is sparkling for me but there were Van Goghs I’d never seen that are exquisite. And Turner’s paintings. And Cezanne. There are paintings by an artist that I’d never heard of and now I’m going to do more research. It’s amusing that when I was younger, I didn’t know what kind of art I “should” like. And now I know it’s fine that I like the Impressionists better than modern art.

What’s really amazing is I just looked out my window and the city view I always see looks beautiful, like art, after having looked at the paintings online a little while ago. When we have experiences like that, it surely has a positive effect on our health and our future. It draws life through us.

We can choose to have an outlook that our life can continue to be enhanced, although different, rather than just being diminished. Does it really work for us to be cynical, jaded and bitter?

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Three Weeks In

Sometimes I’m hyper-aware of my environment and other times I’m on auto-pilot and distanced from what I’m doing. I’ve been busy the last few days and my living room was really messy from not putting things away. A little while ago I noticed that as I was sorting through and organizing the strewn around stuff, I was doing it in semi-darkness. It was more difficult but I really didn’t want to turn the lights on. It’s the sort of thing I get questioned about and don’t have an answer for.

I’ve been doing lots of problem-solving of minor glitches–they have been numerous–and I noticed I was emotionally handling it rather well. That’s a clue that my adrenals are being nourished again. When I’m irritable and easily frustrated, they are overtaxed. The ashwagandha herbs I’m taking are working gradually. It’s an adaptogenic herb, the body will use it to balance as needed. My adrenaline is depleted and my cortisol levels are high but since I didn’t get it tested exactly I chose the adaptogenic rather than choosing something that might unbalance things more.

Also, I’ve been able to tune out a lot of drama going on around me. My world has temporarily shrunk but the co-op where I buy most of my organic food is buzzing with controversy. Really, this kind of conflict is going on all around me and I’m kind of in the eye of the storm right now.

I looked at my goal list for the year a little while ago and while I haven’t followed it exactly, I feel satisfied that I’ve done well. I’ve improved my diet and stayed within my budget way better than I expected. I’ve gotten through two unsettling mini-crises. First, when I was barely able to walk for a few days and secondly, the conflict with one of the experts I consult with. As a conflict-avoiding, easy-going person who lacks self-confidence (have you noticed?) I am amazingly non-compliant when it comes to following the direction of an expert. I like to get the information and recommendation and then sit with it awhile and feel how it integrates with what I perceive to be the big picture. There must be some passive quality about me that makes those folks want to take over my life (that’s what if feels like) and they usually appear to take it personally that I don’t just follow along. Looking back, many times I’ve been right. I’m the expert on me as a whole person. Maybe because I’m usually not able to be articulate immediately and seem kind of spacey they don’t really understand how careful I really am.

The information I’ve read recently about the neuroplasticity of the brain has been encouraging. I’m doing things that I’ve been told were highly unlikely for me. Whatever it looks like to the experts, I’m the one in here aware of the teensy nuances and subtle differences while I navigate through difficulties. That may be why I’ve become so reluctant to have expectations of how other people should live–the expectations and suggestions people have for me are usually wrong. I used to like to try to fix people and finally got what a futile endeavor that is.

After being engaged in the above recently, it was nice to just putter around and organize things. Now it will be easier to get going in the morning.

Life Tools and Blooming Tea

Today I read a quote about attitude and how important it is, no matter what’s going on. Sometimes it’s one of the few things we have control over. Things happen and we have a choice how to respond.
We’ve all heard that many times. I think we can get overwhelmed almost beyond endurance though. There are times when we get worn down by a relentless, unbelievable string of mishaps. Hopefully, people can recognize when they need professional help and have the resources to find effective, timely solutions.
What I’m considering here is not those way out-of-control times. Instead it’s the general, consistent attitude that we bring to our daily lives. It makes a difference and it’s easy to slide into being more negative without realizing it. It isn’t necessary to stretch and twist ourselves into someone we’re not, just notice and upgrade the attitude.
As someone who’s interested in personal and spiritual growth, I have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be and to over-analyze things. As a moody, emotional and generally subjective person, I’ve learned lots of tools to apply to my life. Some of us seem to be having very complicated lives.
When I really need something to be more simple, I narrow it down to focusing on something like my attitude.
One of the systems I like to work with is Laurel Mellin’s Emotional Brain Training. As I tend to do, I haven’t used it consistently in a focused way as is suggested for optimum results. I haven’t gotten all that far in the practice of it either, but what I’ve learned from it so far has been helpful.
What I’d like to mention here is the tool suggested for when someone is in the lowest, out-of-control, upset state. There are three things one can work with:
1. Do not blame yourself or others.
2. Minimize the damage. (For me it might be overeating, shopping for things I don’t need or becoming withdrawn.)
3. Remind yourself that this too will pass.
I like EBT when I want to dig in with some structured, psychological tools. Other times, I want a different point of entry into changing my life.

Yesterday I got a surprise gift, delivered by UPS. It was ordered from the Home Shopping Network, something I’m not familiar with at all. The only television I watch is Hulu, so there are many consumer products that I have no idea exist.
It’s a glass tea pot for use with pod-like clumps of tea that bloom when hot water is poured over them.
The handle is oddly shaped, I guess to keep it from getting too hot when maneuvering it about. The water used should be hot, not boiling. I’d forgotten why some instructions call for that, but read today that when the water boils it releases the oxygen that’s needed to optimally brew the tea.
The flavor was very delicate and I liked the aroma of it. Today I tried the tangerine spice. I spilled some every time I poured, but that isn’t unusual for me.

The Little Things

I’m writing on my laptop, which has Vista, instead of on my netbook, which is newer and has Live Writer.  I have another window open–I carefully wrote a comment for one of the fresh-pressed blogs and it simply is taking forever to actually post.  I’ve made an effort to read other people’s blogs and my computer is not co-operating.  Now I just feel tired.

When I decided to begin this blog, I’d been handling things well for awhile. Sure there are lots of swamps and pain in my subconscious and I would do some clearing as I went along, not stirring things up too much so that I could have a life in the present. When something rears its ugly head, I deal.

That happened this morning and it coincided on a day when there was a break in the weather and I needed to get out and get more food, exercise and fresh air. I felt very emotional and that amazing thing where old horrors feel as though they are happening in the present, was running in the background.

Not a good day to think, so I focused on small steps forward. There were a few sparkles.  At 40 degrees, it felt almost balmy so I turned the heat off and opened a window.

I like squash and it’s very difficult for me to cut. In the autumn, I look longingly at the farmer’s market squash. At the local co-op, there was spaghetti squash cut in half today. I began to feel lighter then.  It was a little thing that made me feel more secure, without reading too much into it.

At Winco, I remembered that eggnog exists–and I got some. Something I can put brandy in besides coffee. Brandy is my winter drink, I guess–not that I’m much of a drinker.

I was thinking what for me is unusually mean thoughts as I was going about my business. Planning on going on sort of a strike, although no one would notice, I’m sure. There must have been some kind of vibe steaming off me because people seemed a little kinder–asked me how my day was going. Maybe they were all doing that for each other today–some days it’s like I’m invisible.

I was somewhat productive and avoided doing self-destructive things. That’s a hard lesson to learn. I promised myself that any new relationship would have an equal give-and-take. Good conversation is where both people get to be heard–I’m done with doing all the listening and all the fluffing for the other person.

All those people who are no longer in my life–the people I gave and gave to. Another hard lesson learned. Recently I read that the unemployed are the new lepers. That statement would be good to forget. I’m reminding myself that my choices do matter and they do show up on the level of auras and the energetic body. There are shining places in me even though others may only see some surface appearance.

It’s sad for me that I’m intelligent and because of my circumstances and whatever, I don’t really get to communicate with intelligent people. That’s as far as I’m going there right now.

My comment wasn’t posting so I closed that window. I won’t let the little things get me down. This pain I felt today is probably on the way out, bypassing my awareness. I won’t be carrying this particular bit anymore.  It can reinforce my resolve to do things differently in my relationships for the rest of my life. Bye-bye piece of blobby hurt.

Foggy

There hasn’t been more than a few minutes of sunshine at a time for weeks now. It’s been foggy—I’ve seen more fog lately than during the entire four and a half years I’ve lived here. Recalling how I used to miss fog during the days of relentless sunshine, I’m aware of handling it but am a little concerned that it isn’t even officially winter yet. It’s a La Nina year and the Pacific Northwest is expected to be much wetter this winter. Where I am is actually high desert and I’m thinking the moisture is good.

Today seemed to be a foggy consciousness day also. Variety is good, right? This is a familiar area in the upward spiraling staircase and I did some thinking about where I was at—not much action.

Maybe I’m a bit hung over from my seemingly necessary asserting myself yesterday. It wasn’t an argument but it had the effect of activating stuff in my energy system. When you fight, the energy of it hangs out in your aura for awhile—I think for a couple of weeks or so and increases the chances of more arguments. A little of that is fine because we’re humans having lives. We aren’t robots or wispy ghosts.

So, I felt deflated and while pondering (a bit more than useful or healthy), I thought about how I could alter the way I go about things according to what  mode I’m in. To make it easy, it would be either inspired, hopeful mode or blah, discouraged mode. Today would be blah, discouraged mode and I could have plodded through and been more productive, but I did not. Perhaps tomorrow, for the sake of balance, I will. Unless the lightness and uplifted feeling happens and I have that to work with.

One of the shadows had to do with my self-criticism about my writing here. It seems choppy and disjointed to me. Much of the criticism I’ve received from others about my communication goes along with not getting to the point, giving too much information, rambling, etc. I’ve been attempting to write well, which might amuse me after I’ve been here awhile and find myself sloppily spilling my guts or getting into minute details or having lovely tangents.

It was a day I could spend in solitude so my mood was not inflicted on others. I ate healthy snacks, read and took a vitamin D3 capsule.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll dial down the intellect and dial up mindfulness and do simple things around my home.

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