Spread Your Wings

A coworker and I were discussing the cute little butterflies (elephants, Mel!) that I bought to put in my plants, particularly the plant in my office that has no color other than green leaves.  She joked about how this was the shortest part of the butterfly’s life, the end, and how beautiful they were, but it is fleeting.  I quickly thought how that was like a metaphor for the stage of life I’m in.  Although, nowhere like the beauty of the butterfly, the transition to being comfortable in your skin, liking who you are, tends to come as you move into the senior years, and it is lovely.  These years are shorter than the rest of one’s life, but there is a cool thing that happens (which would really be great if we could have experienced it earlier….would have saved me some BIG mistakes, but life typically doesn’t work that way) where you recognize that it’s ok to like what you like, disagree with what you don’t believe, wear what you want to wear, love who you genuinely love….be, YOU.

At my age, I’ve finally come into my own.  Oddly enough, it is similar to the person I was in my 20’s, the one who didn’t realize she was supposed to conform, and it’s very satisfying.  I spent many years complying with that which others thought I should be.  Like that girl in her 20’s, I don’t do that anymore.  I am authentic.  I shed my cocoon, I’m a butterfly.  Well, metaphorically speaking.

butterfly-release

Happy is Good

I recently took a much-needed break and headed to the California coast with my sister.  We both very much needed to disconnect.

The first day we headed to Zuma beach.  I was sitting in my chair with my umbrella, my eyes closed and listening to the waves hit the shore, smelling the sea, toes in the sand – mindful – I realized I was smiling.  I was happy.  Happy is good.

After the beach we went to a wine tasting, then drove back through Topanga Canyon to the Valley where my niece lives.  Turning on my favorite playlist, listening to Fleetwood Mac (my favorite!), while driving through the winding canyon road, laughing, singing….feeling again.  It was like living in a cool movie scene, but it was real!  I was happy.

The next day we headed to some touristy spots with my niece and her toddler. My niece is more like my little sister; we have a strong bond so hanging with her is just natural.  Her son is adorable and it was fun to get to know him a little better.  After the Grove and Farmer’s Market, we headed again to the ocean.  We needed to see it one more time.  One can never see the ocean enough.

The next morning we headed back to Arizona.  I love my home state so heading home was ok…except my disconnection was much too short.  I need more of these trips.  Life is flying by.

The weather is changing and the snow will be falling up north soon so I think the next break will include a trip to the mountains.

Just Breathe

It’s been a rough few months.  This morning I was telling Rick that I would love to be walking on an isolated path, surrounded by lush greenery, with nothing but the sounds of the birds and perhaps a small stream nearby.  No traffic noises, no phones, no demands, no stress, just the peaceful quiet of nature.  I live in the big city, work full time, and an escape such as this sounds perfect.

In that moment, I realized – I need a break.  So, I’m planning one. I am going to get away in the next few weeks.  It won’t be the lush green forest, but it will give me a few days to unwind, relax….and just breathe.

Green Forest 3

 

 

 

 

He Looks Familiar

I’ve been babysitting two of my grandkids this week. My granddaughter is 9 and her brother is 1. The 9 year old is pretty self-sufficient and a blast to hang out with. Every morning while she’s getting ready for school we find a song to sing and dance to. The 1 year old is a bundle of energy and is keeping me on my toes. He has rearranged the furniture daily, many times a day. He is a curious one. I am keenly aware of why we have babies when we are young. He is just so, so sweet, loving, and the cutest thing ever!

I have babysat the kids before but this is the first time I’ve had both for an extended time. As we go throughout our day the thing that keeps striking me most about my grandson is how much he resembles my daughter. I have always thought he did but spending so much time with him, I am seeing it so much more. It is like taking a trip back in time and seeing my baby girl again. It’s joyful, makes my heart happy, but oddly enough, it is a tad-bit (tiny, tiny bit) sad. I miss when my kids were babies and this just reinforces that feeling. I will say though that I delight in the fact that he looks so much like his momma. My granddaughter does too to some degree, but she has more of her father’s features than the baby does….at least at this point. As we all know, babies change almost daily so it will be interesting to see how much he looks like my daughter when he’s older.

I’m glad my daughter and her hubby are able to get away, and I’m most especially grateful that they have entrusted me with their precious children.

Bodie 2

Storms

I stayed up late last night watching the lightning show the monsoonal storm provided.  It did not disappoint.  There was a moment where there was a break in the clouds and I could see a distant star next to a towering cloud which was lit up in white and orange as the lightning would occur.  I watched this until the clouds came together and the star disappeared.  It was one of those humbling moments; a moment where I was keenly aware of just how small I am in this great big universe.

Sometimes we get a bit caught up in ourselves and forget to just watch the storm.  We are big in our own minds, but in reality, we are but a microscopic spec in this world.

It’s good to be reminded.  It puts much into perspective – what is real vs. what is fabricated by this crazy world we live in.

I’m thankful for the storms.

A storm

Can I Handle the Seasons of My Life…

There is this thing that sometimes happens in life as you get older – you take over the parent role and your parent is like your child.  It is difficult, at best, and at times heartbreaking.  When making decisions for my 87 year old mother, knowing that it is in her best interest, and she fights it, just like a young inexperienced teenager, it can become depressing.  As Mom’s POA, I take my responsibilities very serious.  Her well-being is first and foremost …..even when it makes her angry at me.

The stress meter is up in the red section of the dial.  Sigh.

My mother recently moved in with my sister as she needs help throughout her day for many reasons.  Mom is legally blind, needs a walker to get around, can’t recall when/how much of her meds she’s taken, etc.

My sister’s world has completely changed also.  It isn’t easy to tend to an elderly parent who doesn’t want to understand why certain choices have been made for her.  My sister has the day-to-day contact and I am most appreciative of her and the sacrifices she and her husband are making.

Love isn’t always easy.

Speak Up

Recently, during lunch with my coworkers, we were discussing different personal topics and one of the comments was about keeping the peace rather than angering someone with the truth.  Everyone agreed it is wrong to keep quiet when someone is misbehaving.  So why are we silent?  Why don’t we speak up and do the right thing?  Why do we let others bully us?

I have kept quiet a time or two when I should have spoken up.  I try to be honest with the people in my life.  I think it can be done in a civil manner.

Another questions is, why do these people misbehave?  When I say misbehave it can mean many things.  In my conversation with my coworkers we were talking about people who manipulate others.  Why do people act that way?  Selfish?  Insecure?  Just downright mean, cynical, ugly people?

Whatever the reason, it’s annoying.  Especially when the manipulator’s nastiness is affecting many lives.

I read this today and it seemed to fit this topic:  Don’t continue engaging or attempting to keep the peace at the expense of your inner peace. 

Don’t allow it.   Don’t do it.  Simple