What’s my legacy?

*This is a re-post from 3/08*

daffodils.jpg

I was driving down the road today and passed a clump of bright daffodils. It wasn’t really that they were extraordinarily bright;

its just that they were in stark contrast to the overgrown weeds and trees that still wore their winter browns.

And the sight made me feel…well, melancholy.

melancholy

adjective

1.

characterized by or causing or expressing sadness; “growing more melancholy every hour”

2.

grave or even gloomy in character; “solemn and mournful music”; “a suit of somber black”; “a somber mood” [syn: somber]

noun


1. a feeling of thoughtful sadness

I know, I know… flowers usually brighten up my day, but these were all that remained of what was once someone’s homestead – their home. The house was long since gone, the trees and underbrush stretching themselves into the void.

But the flowers kept growing where somebody once intentionally planted them, multiplying each year. They were unaware that the hands that dug them a bed and placed them there by the road no longer lived in the world around them.

I doubt they would have cared, if they had the capacity to. They were just doing what flowers were intended to do.

I really do have a reason for all this introspection. I’ve been going through boxes. Boxes of memories. Of pictures of a young girl, dressed in her best Easter dress with a basket of eggs, squinting into the sun … of notes scrawled in childish writing professing things important to them in that space in time…of ribbons won on long, hot afternoon swim meets decades ago … of dolls given by family no longer living, that sat on bedroom shelves, reminding me of the smell of my grandmother’s house at Christmas … of love letters written 20 some odd years ago by the man I still wake up and go to sleep with each day. I think you get the picture. Sitting there amongst WAY too many boxes, I think of the person who planted those flowers, however long ago it was, and wonder,

“What will be MY legacy?”

It surely doesn’t lie in a box. Comforting and nostalgic as all these things may be to me, in 50 years will they still matter? More pertinently, if I died today, the task of going through all of these would fall to someone else. Would they find value in things tied to the past? Probably not in the same way I do, probably not at all. All of my things will pass away with time, just like my grandparents and great-grandparents before me. I can’t imagine what I would do with memorabilia from my parent’s high school years…why would I expect anything different for my children? If these things are SO important that I’ve kept them all this time, then why are they in a box that hasn’t been opened in years?

At least the flowers lived.
daffodils2.jpg

So I try to look at it from a different point of view. As I judicially choose what I just can’t part with (today) – and I’m not exaggerating about being judicious – I try and think of what my family would find in these boxes. If I can’t find permanence or a piece of personal history, I chuck it. I certainly can’t take it with me! I look for opportunities to plant the the same type of memories that these THINGS represent to me instead. Moments of laughter, tears, music, and love that will live on in the souls of those that I love when time has warped the papers, faded the pictures, and age has rendered fragile the things that were witness to them.

I think I will plant myself some flowers by the road ~ daylilies, peonies, freesias, and irises – all in a clump together.

And of course, some daffodils.

~me

Its NOT Personal

My FaceBook Bumper Sticker

Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best,
like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives … and even when it does it can be lost so easily.” ~  Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letter

Continue reading

I’d Be a Cat

smalltuck

A long time ago, there was a forum where friends would post random bits of hard-earned wisdom, motivational quotes, rants about things they couldn’t do anything about, hope, sadness, and all the colors in between.

One of the more engaging and humorous activities was to answer “What type of animal would you be?”

Here are some of the responses and my answer (after spending WAY too much time researching and thinking!):

The first She Said:

Hey, I was just thinking…(i know very dangerous)  But anyway….

If we had to be an animal what would we all see ourselves as?

I know that my perception of others is different from my perception of myself.  So I thought for a minute …………….I would best describe myself as an ostrich. I can get mad and spit on someone/ I can run pretty fast/ and I can bury my head in the sand when I get scared or don’t want to face it.

Let’s hear what you guys see yourselves as! (Just a fun thing)

*He said: “a bear…….kind of slow, kind of, well, rounded, like to hibernate, kind of furry, but have the capability to turn into a pretty different animal altogether if my tractor is cranked…….i give good hug, though……”

She Said: :A chameleon. Do reptiles count? LOL”

Another She said: “Oh wow!! Played this game years ago … here was what I came up with and I think it still
applies today:  A Dolphin… gets to play in the water all the time. They are flirtatious but fearful of new things and a bit shy around strangers but extremely bright and they fly with out leaving the earth…yeah. Given the chance I would wanna be a dolphin”

*He thought about it and said: I think the question was “would” instead of “could”…. if it was “could”…..a cheetah……..what does the fast cat say? “mmeeEEEOOOoowww” as it flies past at 65 mph…..”

Yet another She Said:a pink flamingo…”

He #2 said: “An Eagle. Flying the skies at will, and swooping down on my next unsuspecting victim…”

He #3 said: “Ummm……I’d be the Cat in the Hat….”

He #4 said: “An elephant. Think about it…”

He #5 said: “A falcon— anyone that knows me knows why—-Love to touch the clouds. Leonardo DeVinci said it best– ‘When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward. For there you have been, and there you will always long to be.’ “

Another She chimed in with: “I’m not sure I’ve evolved up to the animal kingdom yet. Maybe I’d be a zuchini…”

He #6 said:Yesterday, during another session of junior golf (when does school start!) I watched a dog who is owned by one of the families who has a child in my junior golf program. He had a blast yesterday (my perception). On what I observed I would have liked to be him yesterday:
As he ran around people petted him just as long as  he wanted to put up with it,

when a bird or rabbitt or another roving rodent ran by he chased it with reckless abandon,

when he was hot or thirsty he ran to any one of the lakes and plunged in without a care,

when he was tired he camped out on the porch surrounding the club,

and whether hungry on not people were always tring to feed him.

And at the end of the day he was seen trotting home to a family who is known to all of us at work to love this dog dearly. His name(and this is true I swear) is “Run-a-round” and it would have been a great day to be a dog in the country.”

So what would I be?  Hmmm… here’s what I said:

“After much thought (WAAAAY too much, but thats another post!) … I think I must be just simple house cat:
they can spaz out but land on their feet, always appearing to have MEANT to spaz out…
they spend most of their time stretching and napping either by a fire or in a sunbeam…
they cannot HELP but investigate the why’s of the world with their curiosity…
they purr when they are content and happy…
they can love you, and you them, but remain independent by the same measure…
they are quiet and padded, stealthily prowling through life…
they can be playful with the proper motivation,but deadly serious when tracking…

MOST of all, they have the proverbial “nine lives” with which to screw up!

😛 meow. 😀

~me

Positives From a Negative

Echoes from past postings. I like to pull conversations and words up from some of the past postings on another website, where I had some fundamentally simple concept THWACK me on the forehead until I said, “Ohhhh….” and a lightbulb went off. An epiphany, if you will. 🙂

(in response to some much needed advice and support while recouping from a setback in life)

December 9,2004

I appreciate, again, all the positive energies flowing my way. I have decided that if there is an immediate lesson to be learned from the events of the recent past, its that I have some REALLY REALLY WONDERFUL people in my life!!!

And that maybe, despite my self-deluding perceptions to the contrary, I apparently DO what I have been taught over the years by you guys.

I know in the grand scheme of things that its just a “thing” …something that will offer me that 20/20 hindsight one day. BUT…I have to say this and then let it go:

being able to vent, getting some solid (sometimes too specific…BE NICE!) input,

spending more time with other recovering people,

allowing myself to be the one who needed instead of meeting needs,

realizing who doesnt just talk the talk…

all of these positives came from a single negative.

I have run the gamut today from being ok…to spending a good chunk of the day really, really down and subject to sudden bouts of tears…to self-righteous indignation…to overwhelming fear of uncertainty…to this.

And right now, in THIS moment, I am peacefully sad. I’m sad because there are always 2 sides to every story and there isn’t a doubt in my mind that right now I am sitting in a much more peaceful place than some are.

I am blessed and grateful for the opportunities. I try to make sure that those in my life know that and I wish that everyone could somehow receive all that and more.

Maybe I was just in the way of something that is so BIG it can’t be seen by we mere mortals! Just a small role in the big picture. And though I know everything can change in a single minute, my heart is heavier than you guys know …for the WASTE of it all!!

THAT is what upsets me the most – I don’t burn bridges, as a rule…one of the silly little rules that I live by. But I am powerless to stop others from destruction on anybody’s bridge once it has been marked for demolition and events set in motion.

So tonite as I lay my head down,
I am grateful.
I am awed.
I am emotionally exhausted by the day.
I am grieving the loss – of unknown possibilities.
I am humbled.
I am, at least for this moment in time,
at peace.

Riding the Rollercoaster that IS this Life

**UPDATE Thur, Jan 29th**

Ok, so I RePosted this today and when I opened my homepage this afternoon, this was the ‘scope for TODAY:

You may go on a wild roller coaster ride today as your self-esteem soars one moment and then crashes the next, only to climb the next incline with grace. It’s hard to find a stable place on which you can build a reliable sense of who you are now. No doubt, this is a time of great transition and instead of trying to play it safe by standing in one spot, you’ll be happier if you can go along with the changes until they settle on their own.

Ya THINK? ; ) LoL!!

(Pops a Dramamine and throws arms up in the air) WEEEEEEEEEhheeeeeeeeeee!!!

*1/2009 REPOST**

Just a note: I’m reposting this because it is the MOST ACTIVE POST in the history of this blog. It gets at least 10 hits every day!
SOooo…I thought it might be better with music
(cuz everything is better with music, doncha know!); Listen to the song – the lyrics always remind me to lighten up 😉 ENJOY!!

OOOhhhhh Shhhhhh........

Mine are middle 2nd row (hands over ears), end right on 3rd row (screaming for dear life)

An echo of the past postings:

(in response to staying with a meeting when you DON’T want to be there or hear what’s being said):

February 10, 2005

I can’t tell you what your mind tells you, but mine tells me that when somebody tells me they ‘appreciate what I said’, it says ” crap, crap, crap…just blowin smoke up your (whatever)”!

So DONT let it talk to you!

You DID come to a meeting,just as I did.
Why was I there?

  • Because it beats the alternative, which is spending quality time with the committee meetings in my head (not to be confused with the“advisory committee”…that involves NOT me).
  • Because the only way I know of  how to stay sober is to get myself moving in the direction of my Creator’s will and recovery for the day, even if its sitting my disgruntled ass in that chair when my head is trying to drag me outta there.
  • Because the people who have stayed sober and had the program work miracles in thier lives all have one thing in common…they “thoroughly followed” the steps and worked with other alchey’s (basically what we do at meetings, right?).
  • Because of that INABILITY to advise or “sponsor” myself. My head can always think of “legit” reasons why I shouldnt do what I KNOW I need to…usually it can justify it too!

In the last 24 hours I have been through a series of dysfunctional events~from a doctor trying to convince me that taking a narcotic was “ok because it didnt have any street value” – (this was his reaction to my balking at taking anything strong for pain and he thinks that THAT makes it ok if you are in recovery!) … to putting to rest some events in my life that have led to unsettled-ness, uneasiness, and general chaos across the board.

I have ridden the freakin rollercoaster of life-

the twists that come from anxiety,

the body slams against the sides as anger tried to throw me outta the car,

the climb up to the top as the joy from the good things in my life lift me up,

the loop-de-freakin-loops of hanging upside down and feeling as though (for that moment) I was in a free fall and there was nothing solid underneath me,

to the sigh of relief when I began to slow down and could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The part that clinches it is that while all these things are GOING to happen (if I am breathing in and out), as long as I’m working the steps (fastening the belts) and talking to you people (screaming through the scary parts) and not mediacating (holding on for dear life),

My Creator IS the car and He’s GOT ME! I’m going to live to ride again tomorrow…hopefully a DIFFERENT one (today’s was really harsh and rough), but I will get the opportunity to do it again.

Make no mistake, though….
I HATE ROLLERCOASTERS! 😛

I guess what I want you to hear outta all that is this:

No matter what your “head” tells you, DO NOT believe it! Every little thing you do makes a difference for somebody, even if you dont know it!!

Beautiful Sadness

From Angie’s Quote of the Day:

I love life…Yeah, I’m sad, but at the same time, I’m really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It’s like…It makes me feel alive, you know. It makes me feel human. The only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt something really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good. So I guess what I’m feeling is like a beautiful sadness.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park, Raisins, 2003

I get that. “Beautiful sadness.” Being fully alive and knowing it beyond a shadow of a doubt through feeling a sadness to the very depths of your soul.

Waaaay back when on a much-missed online discussion forum (October 2004 to be exact!) I was trying to put into words (Side note: “trying” is the operative word!) the same sentiment. A brief ramble, if you will:

I am a people person by nature. I do adequately for small parcels of

time alone, but for the most part, I need people.

I keep hearing others talking about not letting other people affect
them. Remain serene. Don’t take it personally.

I concur with the principle, though not always the practice. I can see
where it is imperative to not allow other people’s insecurities and
negative characteristics to poison you. But I don’t think its realistic
to be unaffected by those around you, particularly people you love.

I’ve reached the point where I can not react to most emotions.  I still
feel them initially, but I can recognize and channel any shift,
adjusting my reactions based on internal manifestations.

The “problem” I’m experiencing now is that I wish to revel in them anyway.

I enjoy sadness simply because it’s so full of LIFE. At least, no more
less than joy or happiness. I suppose that sounds trite, but it’s true.
The emotions, the desires, the pursuits are the color of life.

Though I’m sure there’s something more pure, like a detached
all-encompassing perspective of existence. I suppose that would just be
a heightened sense of self maybe, but I am not there and not sure I
want to be there.

I’m not suggesting a return to numbing myself. But as I listened to
some of our group member’s ideal about being unaffected,I am, for the
most part, becoming more and more appreciative of experiencing life as
it is, not being limited to just the positive.

And the details of this life for me are directly related to those that surround me. I’m
affected and changed by my interactions with people. My natural
surroundings also teach and shape me, but it is the constant interwoven
dance with others that change me into who I am and who I am becoming.

It’s likely just my perception of what they are saying. I hear what I
will hear. I hope that what is meant is not REACTING to someone else’s
reactions to …whatever. I hope that its not being suggested that I
not instinctively feel in response to my relationships with people,
because I don’t want to be that detached. Ever.

All of this was a byproduct of just plain ole feeling sad earlier today
and realizing even as I felt it filling up my chest and my eyes – I
felt more alive in that moment, that second, than I had as I cruised on
auto-pilot for most of the morning.

Sappy as hell, I know, but it got me to thinking.

Finding the humor,

~Shiny Things

Reminds me of one of my favorite songs by Stabilo called “Beautiful Madness”. Here’s a small piece of the song:

Say what you wanna say, any time of day,
but don’t justify my truths
It’s time for me to change, time for hope
to bleed, time for love to sacrifice…

i could’ve held back, but you were already there,
and if you never look back, you never quite care

…For the times I’ve walked
for the times I talked
For the times alone, alone, alone

This beautiful madness,
this glorious sadness…

Or you can just listen to it:

Oceans (Re-Post)

Re-Post:

Oceans

moonlight on the Gulf

I love being here.
I love the ocean, no matter how many times I’ve been to it.
I love the things that surround it-the breezes, the salty smell, the shinyness,
the constant movement of the water, the waves’ thunder, watching storms across the horizon, the feel of the sand under my feet and the sun on my body…all of it.


Last night the kids wanted to go hunt sand crabs with flashlights and nets. I came within a breath of not going, but changed my mind in the last moments of hunting and gathering gear to go.


I walked across the sand towards the water and away from the brightly lit building,caught up in the excitement in the kids’ voices.

Reaching the edge of the water, I realized there wasn’t any “crashing” to speak of – the water was so calm it was lapping over my feet and was warm as bathwater.
Despite the lack of violence in the waves, there was a steady breeze blowing against me.
As I stood there shining my flashlight through the water in front of me,
what I saw took my breath away in surprise – it was FULL of shells!

Now I had looked diligently for some decent shells every day since I’d arrived here!
Pieces and beautiful shards were all I’d been able to find all week,
usually by cutting my heel on one!
But my beam caught a myriad of all sorts in all shapes and sizes, gently rocking beneath the surface.

I squatted down and lowered my net into that water to scoop up as many as I could and then I thought,

“Wait.”
What was I going to do with them?
How many perfect and unique shells lived with me now back home, keepsakes from trips past?
How many of those did I even recall finding?
Every single one of them I had thought of as worthy of taking out of the ocean to bring back with me –
to “remind” me of this trip or that trip.

But squatting there last night, I realized that it was the memories that were the souvenirs, not the shells.

And by taking them away from their natural spectacular showcase, it diminished their luster,

condemning them to become one of the hundreds in a jar on a shelf collecting dust at my house.
Wasn’t that being just a tad bit selfish?

I felt like it was a right of childhood that I had outgrown through time.

So maybe these shells I was looking at through the glassy water were destined to be triumphantly found by a child in the morning on a walk along the beach with their grandparent.

And remembering my own shouts of joy,

beckoning my now deceased grandparents to “come! LOOK at what I had FOUND”,

I stood up and turned off the light, smiling.

My time as a gatherer of “things” seems to have painlessly passed me by.

I heard my own children’s voices excitedly calling out to each other in the semi-darkness, beckoning each other to “come! LOOK at what I FOUND!”

I guess life really is an eternal circle.

I found comfort in still being part of that loop.


So without my light, my eyes adjusted to the darkness and looking across the blackness of the sea,
I found a profound sense of what I can only describe as a
YEARNING
It seems to be the only adequate word
for how it felt, deep within
I indulged myself for just a few minutes and imagined
an answer to that nameless desire
in that very insignificant space in time.

Looking up into the sky I could see hundreds of stars,

rarely seen from the brightly lit city
and for the third time on my life’s path,
I saw a shooting star streak across the sky
A Wishing Star!
I closed my eyes and let my heart put voice to the yearning,

whispering my wish with a fervency and hope
that was all at once consuming and comforting.
Despite the irrationality of it all,
I just let the imaginings and yearning under that shooting star
give birth to a deeply held, but brutally simple wish
for what was whispered from my heart in a language beyond my comprehension

Sap that I am, tears filled my eyes and I had to compose myself before joining the others.
But my point,
is love was THERE

In that moment.

With me.
And the heavens threw me a wishing star
to give all that was inside of me
dared not spoken,

wings

~me