Thursday, December 30, 2010

Women, Food & God

Yes, I borrowed that title from a book I'm reading. The book says that we are constantly trying to Not Feel. We dull our feelings with food and pills and shopping and anything else we have learned will mask the actual feeling. It has encouraged me to explore this idea. It is a little difficult to grasp because I am pretty sure I am feeling things. I laugh. I cry. Yet I see some truth in the words on the page because when I am upset, I like to reach out for something square and chocolate.

So what does this mean, to feel my feelings?

With so much going on in my life right now; I can't help but think this would be a good time to practice the idea of understanding what it is I really feel.

I am educated and well read.
I had to print out a "List of Feeling Words".
I am going to use this list as a guide until I am comfortable with finding my own words.

Today I feel
a) fatigued
b) distressed
c) empty
d) lost
These words I picked from the list and typing them on the page has also made me feel very sad.

In my own words, I feel rather like a pencil that has been used down to the nub with the pink eraser used down past the metal casing, with teeth marks on the wood.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

When my husband was told he had a brain tumor this month, I can honestly say I did not know what to expect. I could not see any further into our future than two days, at most. I took him to doctors, had many tests done and spent most of my time in a bubble. My bubble consisted of my husband and myself. I was tuned in to every breath he was taking. I would say for the past 21 days I have been eating, breathing, sleeping someone else's life. My husband's life. I know I could not feel his exact feelings, nor his pain. But his pain translated into a pain all my own; a constant state of nausea, shallow breaths, and headaches. I have to remind myself this is not about me. My head knows it is not about me, that D. is going through this, not me. But my body feels otherwise.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Room #3

Can you remember where you were when you first heard about the airplanes crashing in to the twin towers? I can. I was at my doctors office with my three month old daughter. We were in room #3. I've always liked room 3 because it has its own bathroom. I was holding Margaret, awaiting the doctor, when nurse Evelyn walked by and told me the second plane just hit the second tower. Remember how that changed everything? I had heard about the first plane in the car on the way over. I thought it was tragic, I couldn't believe it, and of course I thought it was an accident. But sitting there with my new baby girl in my arms, our world altered forever upon hearing about the second plane hitting the second tower.

Room 3. It has a poster with about 75 pictures of wildlife that is native to East Texas. I like this poster. It keeps me occupied while I'm waiting for my doctor. I've read about bobcats, deer, squirrells, and snakes through three pregnancies, a miscarriage, an occassional feverish child, vaccinations, nothing overly serious. I like the old timey medicine cabinet in room 3; it is metal with glass doors. I think it would look good in my kitchen.

So there I was in room 3 when my world changed again. I sat, waiting, knowing it was about to change. I could feel it all around me; the tilt of the receptionists' head when she called us in; the tight lipped smile from the nurse as she showed us to room 3, the hand on my arm as we went through the door. I'm sitting in room 3 looking in the old cabinet. I can see through the glass there is a plastic box labeled with red lettering. It says "Life Saving" on the side. I wonder why it is behind a glass door that is locked. If I truly need it to save my life, where will I find the key? How long will it take me to find the right person who knows exactly where the key is? Will I expire looking for the key?

Room 3 has a new picture. It's a rather nice painting of two adobe houses in what looks to be a New Mexico type setting. It has some beautiful colors in it. Under the picture is my husband. He looks so handsome in his blue sweater. I bought it for him about three years ago and today is the first time he is wearing it. It still has the tag in the back collar; he wouldn't let me take it off when I helped him put it on. The blue really brings out his eyes. He has gorgeous blue eyes. I'm looking at his blue jeans and I'm thinking I've never noticed how blue the blue is in those jeans. Huh, isn't it strange the door moulding is missing a piece..I've never noticed that before. I'm sitting in a chair directly opposite from my husband. We are on opposite sides of the room, but close enough that if we stretch our legs out, we can touch our feet, and we do...several times...first the right, then the left, then we smile at each other. I sit up straight, center myself; I feel the floor beneath my feet, the chair beneath my legs, my spine is straight and i follow the feeling up to my head. I breathe deeply. I look at him and smile.

The door on room 3 is slightly ajar. I can hear conversations outside the room, down the hall. Isn't it amazing how our brains can pick up and follow two to three conversations at a time? I've heard this is easier for women to do. I believe that. There is a woman whose husband has a second infection in his leg. Another woman whose mother is trying to live with cancer. They are all concerned, they are all so brave and strong sounding. Someone asks if there are non latex gloves...there are nitrile gloves here in room 3, I think to myself; and I look at him and we smile at each other. He is clean shaven, fresh haircut, and looks so handsome.

Then I hear the shuffle outside the door, the doctor comes in, greets us, sits down, and simply says "It's a brain tumor".

Monday, December 6, 2010


I am on the precipice of change. I cannot say what is in store, because I do not know in words. I only know it deep inside where there are no words. I have to shore up because it is the kind of change that can knock you down. I remind myself there is no good or bad, there is only what is.

Well now that I am finished sounding ominous, I will say that all my shopping is finished. My tree is up. My Christmas cards are filled out.

I have to plan ahead because I have to be available for what is coming.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I'm reading a book my friend, Chris, penned. He has many truths to share. We've had similar thoughts about different things and some of his truths remind me of a quote I used to keep tacked on my wall at work. The first time I read this, I was struck by its Truth.

Many times I would shrink so other people would not feel insecure around me. It still takes practice to beat this old habit.

This was written by Marianne Williamson.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Friday, November 5, 2010

Old Friends

Ella Fitzgerald is crooning the Jailhouse Blues while I sit at my desk, looking out the window and seeing the most beautiful blue sky and the autumn leaves clinging to the trees in the wind. It is a glorious day. I received a text this morning from my oldest daughter telling me so. She is right.

I got an eight page autobiography today from an old friend. We've recently connected again and I have read and reread this personal account of his life about four times now. I learn something new each time I read it. I think back to when we knew one another and how we went our separate ways and wonder at the universe and what we can afford to one another at this time in our lives. He seems to have done SO MUCH in his life. I can sum up the 90's for myself in one sentence. I attached my life to someone when I was 19 and it is his course that I have followed. Someone who had lived a lifetime already by the time I came along. But these are old feelings I have already put to bed...I can say them and not feel the angst I did five years ago.

I'm at a point in my life where I am consciously surrounding myself with people I actually want to be in my life. This is not something that was important to me in my 20's and even well into my 30's. It is important to me now. I want people who encourage me to be better, bigger, more than; just by being these things themselves. I want to be with people who are always learning and from whom I can learn.

My old friend fits this bill. I remember the quirky kid he was and even then I knew he made my world bigger. I am sorry for not being able to appreciate him more as my teenager self.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

15203 Days Old

So after all of that delving into my new feelings about Autumn, I came to an enlightening thought. It's not an idea that has never crossed my mind before, but its an idea that had a fresh new impact on me. Are you ready? It's going to blow you away. Here it is: Time is Linear.

I know, right? Mindblowing. Well, alright, we all know this. BUT...I was thinking how we are set up to believe that time is cyclical. If we don't get it accomplished today, there's always tomorrow. There's always next Monday, next Summer, next month, next year. But the truth is time is linear. We get today only once.

So today I am 15,203 days old. I am going to get the most out of today because I only have once chance to get it right. I am going to listen, learn, laugh. And I am going to grieve a little when it is over because I will never see today again.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Apprehensive of Autumn

This is the first year, in all my forty one years that I can recall being apprehensive of the coming fall. I usually yearn for the cooler weather, the handful of leaves that turn here in east texas, the anticipation of holidays with family. This year is different. I find myself with a catch in my stomach whenever I think about Autumn. My mind does a sharp about face everytime the Autumn occurs to me. I try to ponder it, i try to roll it around to see the root cause for these alien feelings, but my brain will not cooperate.

This morning, while I was doing my speed interval walking, I looked down and there was the most beautiful sweet gum leaf. It is only a half inch tall, but it was perfectly shaped and had brilliant colors of crimson red and Thanksgiving yellow. I picked it up and carried it gingerly between my finger and thumb, by the stem, for the rest of my workout. I now have it taped to the side of my monitor. While I am typing this I look at it and its so beautiful that it breaks my heart and I start to cry. Again, this is not the way I have always celebrated and anticipated Autumn.

So as my mind tries to scatter, and I try to hold it still long enough to piece my feelings together, I come up with this: time is moving forward and I am not ready. I am not ready to let go of the past or the present or the people around me. I no longer welcome you Autumn, I do not want to be reminded of death and leaving, I do not want another year to pass so quickly.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Can Do it Myself

I can do it myself. As a mother of three daughters, I have heard this mantra many times. Let me brush your hair. I can do it myself. Let me tie your shoes. I can do it myself. Let me wash your hair. I can do it myself. Let me drive you there. I can do it myself. Let me fill out your FAFSA. I can do it myself.

So here we are, 12 days before college classes start, and we are not registered for classes, I have not signed any student loans, dorm is not paid for, and everytime I inquire as to the status of these arrangements, I get "I don't know" as a response. What happened to "I can do it myself"?

I sit on the edge of my seat; waiting to see if they can do it themselves. My heart almost stopping. Wanting to jump in and take care of it all myself. It would be so easier to my peace of mind if i could just take care of it all for them. This is the sort of thing that turns a mother's hair grey.

Monday, August 9, 2010

marching to the beat of your own drum

I am sitting here at my computer, listening to the sounds around me, and trying not to think about next week, or next month, or what the next season will look like. My two oldest girls are in the livingroom watching a movie; I smile when I hear them laugh (at what I don't know). The sounds of the marching band practicing are coming over my back fence and leaking through the closed windows. The bass drum I can feel even more than I can's sound reminding me of new school years past when the girls would be practicing in the heat and getting ready for the Friday night halftime show. They are both leaving to follow their own to UH and the other to TBI. It will be the first time they are both away from home at the same time. I am scared and excited. For me, for them.