Real Life

When in doubt, do something new!

Yes, that’s pretty much how I do life. So this morning it occurred to me that I must be riding a wave of doubt because I have started a bunch of new things. I have started so many new things that it’s getting ridiculous and problematic to try to keep up with them, and just yesterday… I started planning and talking about yet another new project.

I wonder if it’s because I am feeling doubtful about my ability to keep up with everything I have going on in the moment! I wonder if it’s intervention time!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a six page list of all the things I want to do before I die. I don’t know if it was because I was feeling mortal, or because I was depressed and needing a reason to keep on keeping on. But SIX PAGES ? Seriously?

Those six pages are currently pinned to my refrigerator, and I think I’m going to post them. Because why not? Here’s the link to the mega list, in case you are curious about the extremity of my ambition. It is a very ambitious list.

And if I really do want to get all six pages of stuff done, I’m going to have to get started on them right now. No more mindless games on my phone. No more Facebook surfing. No more wasting time on ridiculous bullshit.

I feel like I need a plan of action. An executable plan of action. A practical plan of action… Maybe even a list… I know! A six page list of how to get that six pages of stuff done before I die. So, yes, an intervention is definitely in order.

Maybe I need to wash the dishes. That might be a good idea, since every single dish in the house is dirty. Maybe I need to clean the litter box, put away the clean clothes, vacuum the floors, and do a little bit of housekeeping… ok… let’s be honest here. It’s probably a lot more than a little bit.

I wonder if this endless cycle of stuff I want to do, stuff I am doing, stuff I plan to do, stuff I wish I had done, stuff I should be doing, stuff I probably will never do, stuff I would do if only… I wonder if all the doing and the stuffing is simply me trying to cope with the pervasive loneliness and angst of being a human person, of missing the oneness of the All That Is, trying to get back home to the wholeness from which I was born.

And if that is true, then it follows that at some point I will get back home to the All That Is, and when I do make that trip I wonder if it will all have been worth it. Did I learn what I wanted to learn? Did I experience what I set out to experience? Did I accomplish my goals?

So now we are back to the stuff I could of… should of… would of.. done. Maybe that’s what my dharma is. I wonder. It seems to be in my nature to be a doer of things. Apparently it’s my calling. Maybe it’s my struggle, my impediment, my mountain to climb, my valley to cross. I don’t know.

What I do know is this. It’s time to get a move on. I’ve got things to do and stuff to accomplish.


I am finding this whole thing so surreal… And I find that I am surprisingly paralyzed in the midst of this amazing time when I am forced… FORCED… to stay home and go no where… a dream come true on so many levels.

Interestingly, my daughter, who passed away last April, made a point of sending me an intense message about 6 months ago. She spoke very vividly and powerfully to a friend of mine who was in meditation, and she said:

“Tell my mom.
A storm is coming.
Watch for it.”

I have been wondering what the heck she was talking about ever since. Not any more. I think this has to be it. If this isn’t an almost perfect storm, I don’t know what is.

So, how to cope? How to manage? What do do?

If I figure it out, I will let you know. I am trying to make myself work on my website today. I’m just having a little trouble finding my way in. In the mean time, here is some eye candy.

Five years old, and this is my first day of Boarding School. Some things I remember are:

I remember that dark falling into a bottomless pit feeling of going to sleep by myself alone at night, and waking up in the morning and I’m still alone. I remember that the first month (or more) of boarding school, when I was 5 and in first grade, I would wake up every morning with my eyes glued shut from so many tears the night before. I couldn’t even open them some mornings unless I first got the crust off.

I remember that I never fit in, and nobody every really accepted me. The other kids seemed to have a secret language that I wasn’t privy to. I never could get the soap out of my hair when I washed it because having water on my face panicked me. So my hair was always dull and looked greasy and dirty. I envied the other girls their shiny hair, and the way they all seemed to look good, their buttons all buttoned in the right holes – mine never were. I was so alone. And so one day I put Vaseline in my hair to make it shine. What a disaster. Irene Drown helped me get it out. I was the laughing stock. I retreated ever more deeply into my shell, into my cave of never fitting in, never looking OK, never saying the right thing.

The first year of boarding school was in a big old building, it was one of those old Spanish mansions. A big square building 2 floors and a basement – I can even remember the layout. The bathroom was huge (to me) and tiled, and seemed to echo.

The first week I was in school, someone told me to put the toilet lid down. I didn’t know what they were talking about, so I tried to take the porcelain top off the toilet tank, I thought I was supposed to put it on the floor or something, it was very heavy, and fell and broke. I remember being in a lot of trouble for that. In the medicine cabinet was a bottle of baby aspirin. I liked how it tasted, and one day I ate all of them. Nothing happened to me.

I never told anyone that I was the reason the baby aspirin disappeared. By then, I knew that you should never admit to anything. And after that I never did. If I would have been caught red handed with my “hand in the cookie jar”, I would have denied the whole thing. Never tell the truth. That’s what I learned early on. Never tell the truth, never admit a mistake, tell no one your secrets, and basically, just keep your mouth shut.

We walked to school every day, and along the way we were sometimes bombarded with dirt clods and spit as well as insults. It was a time when Americans were very unpopular.

The 2nd year of school, mother and daddy were the dorm parents. I was really looking forward to it. But I think those 2 years may have been some of the worst. They were so determined to be “fair” that they went out of their way to treat me just like the other kids. I never felt close to them after that. It was awful. Everyone had to say “yes sir.” and “no ma’am”. I didn’t get tucked in at night, didn’t get any of the physical affection I was used to at home.

By this time I was pretty much in my own little hell, very withdrawn, hiding behind my hair, twirling it, sucking on it, a dark cloud followed me everywhere. I never felt clean. I don’t know if it was a mental perception, or if I just wasn’t able to cope with the weekly group shower. My hair was always tangled, I chewed my fingernails to the quick every day. I remember it as being particularly painful and excruciatingly humiliating to be me.

One afternoon, I was down in the living room area and the lamp somehow got unplugged. When I plugged it back into the wall socket, I got a small electrical shock. I thought I had been electrocuted, so I lay down on the couch and waited to go to heaven because I knew that if you got electrocuted, you died. But I didn’t die. And I remember being very very disappointed.

Mother and Daddy got me a “Barbie” for my birthday when I was 7. I had it for 2 days, and then it disappeared. I later found out that the other girls buried it in the back yard. They were jealous. Mother and Daddy did get me a lot of presents, they left the goodbye gifts under my pillow when they left, and I loved that, to me it seemed like a link to them and the love I so desperately missed. But, in retrospect, it really seems cowardly to leave without actually saying goodbye. I’d wake up, they’d be gone, and in their place was a present. What a bittersweet feeling that was. Pleasure/pain.

I get that feeling sometimes even now… hmmm… A kind of heart clenching anxiety… mixed with oh, how nice…. I get that same feeling when thinking about having to do a dog training class. Interesting…

And at the same time, it caused problems in my already precarious relationships with the other girls. None of the other parents did stuff like that, and it really made the other girls jealous. Hence – the burying of the Barbie. And the funny thing is that I wasn’t that impressed with the Barbie, and I didn’t really miss it when it disappeared. Had they buried my beloved teddy bear – it would have been a different story altogether.

The only place I really felt comfortable was under the house with the dog. It was a fuzzy medium size mixed breed dog, I called her Bear, I’m not sure if that was really her name or not. She lived under the back steps, under the porch. I would crawl under there and sit in the dirt with her. Sometimes I heard the other kids talking about me. It was never anything good. Usually something about how I was stupid, or weird. I remember once she had puppies. I got a lot of comfort sitting in the dirt with the puppies sleeping on me. Often I cried when I held them. My face would be streaked with dirt and tears, and then I’d be in even more trouble for getting dirty.

When I was in first grade, I got chicken pox. I remember lying in the top bunk, praying that I would die. Begging Jesus to come and take me to heaven. It was agony. The other kids, and Aunt Edith (the dorm mother) all told me that if I scratched the blisters I would be hideously ugly and scarred for life. So I didn’t scratch them. Not once. It was one of the most difficult times in my life.

Gosh! All this is making me cry!

On Sundays we had to write letters to our parents, the big kids helped the little kids write them. I asked mother and daddy to come and get me and take me home. Aunt Edith tore up the letter and made me write a different one. One that said that I was happy and doing fine. I never asked to go home again.

Well. That’s all I can cope with right now.

This is from an email written to my sister way back in 2004. I have edited it a little bit so that it can be shared on the internet, but I wanted to put it here because now that Saskia is no longer with us, I am trying to preserve what I can. Our relationship as mother and daughter was very challenging because from the very beginning she was difficult and headstrong, and so powerfully determined to do things the way she wanted to do them, and see things the way she wanted to see them.

Here’s the story:

Saskia and James moved the last of their stuff to their new house. Their truck broke down on the way over there. She called wanting me to pick her husband, his friend, and Teddy (the dog) up at Max’s Market and take them to Independence.

I told her to call a tow truck. So she did. And he took them all to Independence. And then I said something about her having to go to work tomorrow, and that it was a good thing that Independence had a bus service.

I was kind of being a bitch when I said this because when I was trying to talk her out of moving, I asked her what she would do if the truck broke down, and she informed me that Independence had city buses and taxi’s.

Either the seal on the transmission is blown, or one of the lines came off, or has a hole in it. She said that someone told her that it wouldn’t be real hard or real expensive to fix. transmission????  not hard?? not expensive????

I hope she’s right.

So… The disaster has begun. The drama is in progress.

I am not being good. I want to be good… but it just isn’t happening… I’m judging… I-told-her-so-ing… fussing… and in general not being good. I just want to shake her! and choke her! And change her into someone else for a while! So…

My internal work begins. (see this post)

And The Drama Continues

Hi. (This is the next email I sent to my sister.)

You know, I have a certain amount of ongoing worry and fear around Saskia and her firm insistence on making choices that put her and her family at risk. And I have a certain amount of worry and fear about credit cards and bills I can’t pay, and the fact that my job continues to sort of sputter along. I have a lot of frustration about my inability to find the energy and the drive to get the things done that I want to do around here to make this place nice. And so far, other than that exceptional time my granddaughter was born, I haven’t had the big stuff that you have with your son.

The big stuff really puts into perspective what is important, and it doesn’t just challenge you to align with spirit, it forces you. Because if you don’t…  Well, I don’t know what happens… probably Saskia knows…

Anyway. I don’t even know what to say about your son. I’m really glad that you are feeling calm about it, because I’d be a screaming raging bitch inside. If I can get myself centered and quiet today, I’ll do some shamanic work and see what happens with that. See what I can see, do what I can do.

Last night Saskia called. The transmission on the truck is shot. A rebuilt one costs $1200, the junked ones at U Wrench It are probably junk and you have to pull them yourself. They have no money. They spent it all on the tow truck. The bus stop is too far away to walk to. It costs $20 to take a taxi to work and they have no money. They don’t have a phone yet. One of Saskia’s coworkers picked her up yesterday and took her to work, and that car broke down on the way.

I did not say “I told you so.” I was in the middle of saying something to the effect of “What are you going to do?” and the cell phone she was borrowing went dead.

Then later, James brother called to say that his dad collapsed at the doctors office and is in the hospital. I gave him the phone number of Saskia’s friend in Independence. I hope they have food for Sydney. I was worrying and worrying and worrying about them – because I love them – and my heart just went out to her. Once again in a desperate situation. And then, because there really isn’t anything I can do, I prayed, and talked to my guides and angels.

And then I did something really comforting. I gave them to Jesus. (he is one of my guides – believe it or not). So I gave them, and my worry about them to Jesus, and went peacefully to sleep. Today, although I am thinking about them, I am no longer having that stressed agitated worry feeling. Actually more of a curiosity, and feeling of compassion than anything else.

So. Actually I might try the breathing thing with my issues.

  • Breathe in bills and money problems ~ breathe out prosperity and abundance.
  • Breathe in fatigue ~ breathe out energy.
  • Breathe in clutter ~ breathe out order.
  • Breathe in decay ~ breathe out beauty and new growth.

I wonder if I’ll do it really.  I have been so spiritually and physically indolent, lazy, immobilized, stuck, blocked…  There is something (invisible to me) that stands in my way. I should do a journey and take a look at it. Notice the use of the word should.

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