This morning I ventured out for my usual walk. Not exercise, but a brief 10 minute walk, unencumbered, which I was taught will deliver left/right brain integration, calmness and generally start the day off on the right foot. Along the way I spotted a young neighbor that I did not know by name, but who always smiled and waved. I called him over to talk.
I apologized for an "episode" we had last week on the river. I just now realized how heavily it was weighing on me. Essentially, they had borrowed our dock for a quick run back to their house to inflate a tube. Honestly, this is no big deal, except others take this as a sign we are open to all, and the give an inch take a mile responders show up. Although we did not know this family, another neighbor told them we would not mind. In truth we do mind, and let them know. He said we were very nice about it and they were not offended and fully understood. Still it felt so un-neighborly at the time.
Putting aside the liability issues, we enjoy having our privacy - and sharing our haven when we invite others over. McGyver built the dock and much of the house, so perhaps we are more protective than others. Yet, it is such beautiful access to the river I believe it should be open to all. Then I recall how hard we worked and how much we paid and yes it is ok to own a piece of this God given space. It has taken years for my adjustment from a fenced in suburbia life, to understand that others will wander on to our open land no matter what the signs say. As with all the small annoyances of life, a tiny shift of perspective and a deep breath will get me through. We were not all raised with the same boundaries, so tolerance is essential.
Back then, to the conversation on the street. We got to know each other and then exchanged phone numbers. I said do not hesitate to use the dock - for emergencies. Call with a heads up, so that watching neighbors do not beckon us home to investigate. Then I finished the 10 minute walk feeling significantly lighter than when I started, and knowing much more about this gentleman.
Is there anything weighing on you like this? Of course, for most. Start with these small issues and resolve what you can. Occasionally scan your body and listen from your heart. The larger burdens such as recovery or loss, are best turned over to your higher power. If you are seeking an actual 7 minute weight loss program, consider turning that over as well. Emotional eating and the rebound of strict diets are challenging. Working out inner burdens and improving self-love first, will allow the food we take in, to actually nourish our bodies. With every bite, every thought, every task or action, stay ever aware of the question: Is this nurturing or depleting to me? Do not leave things unresolved. Give yourself the level of care you offer loved ones. - Pam 7/18/2014
"Motherless Daughters" published in 2004. The title alone seized my heart and tugged me through the wringer. I cried more at seeing this, than I did during initial mourning. Over two decades have passed since I read this book, and I recall only the title. The impact remains. While it slammed me with the reminder of the void left at losing my Mother, it reminded me I'm not alone in my responses. At some point, nearly every daughter will be without her Mother while we still walk the earth. For Mothers who have, or will, lose a daughter, the injustice is exponentially greater. Dealing, in either case, is as individual as the stars are plentiful. The process of release applies to sons and Fathers with parallels - but not exactly the same.
In my early career, although Mom was not a woman of routine, she would call daily at my office around 3pm. My shoulders would rise and breathing go shallow with anticipation of being disrupted from my oh so important job. And then the day came, the end, where I would give my soul to have her call again, and this time I would be present and engaged. It took years to stop looking up at the clock as 3pm approached, and decades before I realized the need to forgive myself for the small and large regrets of our relationship. Why, after death, does her perfection seem so clear?
When the loss is recent, our challenge is to sleep through the night, wake in the morning, create some sense of normalcy in our lives. With time, our desire grows, to hold on to all she taught us, all we remember. Memories today are more thoroughly recorded in pictures. Does that make it easier? Or was it better to imagine my Mother's moments as they may have occurred between the infrequent photos? I hold tightly to her radiant smile in her one photo taken over the kitchen sink - the only place I picture her clearly. But in my every response to the events of life, I feel her influence powering through, and I am convinced she has never left me.
For the many ladies who were not blessed with an amazing Mom, I recommend rewriting your story. At least the difficult times. The true Moms in your life are those who encourage you along and support you in whatever direction life takes you. Thank them. It does not require biological matching. If your Mom is so misaligned with you, that avoidance is your dominant relationship, then study your differences. Remember that she is also a daughter created by her Life Lessons, and those of her Mother, and her ancestors. Allow for that and observe. It is possible you will find a shift in expectations that allows you to breathe more deeply.
Sunday morning - thoughts from the dock. 7-13-2014
There is that memory. In the canoe with safety drifting past consideration. 20 years ago, when balance and ease of movement were a given, a gift taken for granted. It was a crisp day in Florida filled with more light than you would think possible. Not the usual steamy soft air of this region.
When did that mobility and spontaneity slip away into this blissfully comfortable existence within un-comfortable bodies? The irony of retirement is that it delivers the most free and flexible phase of life - just as our bodies and minds have denied both.
And where is the canoe? Gathering moss beside the house, unused since that luscious afternoon on the lake. The thought: "oh, that's why he won't sell it". It only came to mind this morning, as we plan a rare date to go fishing. I've labeled the mini excursion "romantic" to assure it is the two of us without our fab friends. These days it seems only under duress that we leave the comfort of our kindles and anti-gravity chairs to venture out socially. I don't recall the last date night out alone. Those seem to be reserved for our friends with children and grand plans in their life.
Before this comes across as too pitiful, I must mention that we just returned from an adventurous vacation in the Baja - scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, hiking. We are not fully into our sunset days - and don't intend to go there. Neither of us is actually retired, but our idealistic lifestyle on the river gives that impression. We are incredibly grateful for all that has come our way after 40 - leaving the angst of our earlier lives behind.
Why, after 24 years together, are there still interactions that don't meet our mutual expectations? That's easy - and true of nearly every one of you. Our inner actions ie. responses, are dominated by expectations, often conditioned by our lives. Whether your expectations are high or low, they are nearly always accompanied by "niggles". Niggles of uncertainty - not the best fertilizer to the thoughts that attract goodness into our lives. The most daunting of niggles, is fed by the desire to have our partner's mind, and thus behavior, respond just as ours would. That would truly make for a life of ease - anticipating each other's every thought and move. And possibly not be very interesting as an end result. When you no longer have the energy to live fully, then that predictability may be a logical path.
We, however, continue to choose the wild ride that our Love holds together in our safe zone, knowing the extremity of our differing minds. It is often challenging - but never personal. It is fun, passionate and productive - except when it is not. We have been greatly rewarded for our efforts and faith, once we allowed the reality of who we are, and understood that we are, genuinely, fully responsible for everything in our lives. And now, it's time to take action for those areas where our attention has dwindled.
Alone is so much safer than together, right? Together we ventured out in that canoe, covered the bases for an amazing day dancing with mutual expectations. Alone would also be amazing, with more ease - with egrets and herons, fish jumping, water sparkling. But when the alligator arrived, sounding like the pull of a motorboat engine starting, my vote is entirely on togetherness. I'll never know if we were truly safe, but the natural talents of my husband included quietly maneuvering away, while assuring me all is well. My trust knew no limits. Until, a few years later, there was a shark encounter. But then, that is another story.
(post article update - no bites, but a sweet day on the water, greeted by Manatee.)
Writing to you, knowing how unique our viewpoints may be. When resisting, ask yourself "What Else is Possible?". My experience and personal truth in any moment is just that - mine for you to consider. All Things are Possible - ATAP