Looking for answers to life's questions

Archive for December, 2011

In search of holiday spirit

It’s Christmas Eve day and all the shopping is done. Wasn’t hard this year since my family is so much smaller and so is my supply of funds. The few presents are beautifullly wrapped thanks to my wonderfully talented daughter who make each gift a work of art. The only thing I actually had to wrap was the one gift I purchased for her. We’ve completed the baking and passed out the the customary banana bread to the mail, UPS, and FedEx delivery people as well as the plumbers. Cookies went to work to cheer up co-workers as everyone gets through their final days of overload. Our holiday guests have been transported to unfamiliar shopping areas and local area attractions for their entertainment. Local does not mean close by the way. We drove 2 hours to take my niece horseback riding since that’s what most 12 year old girls live for. Another 45 minutes to the town of Solvang that was already packed with people from all over the world. It’s been a good 15 years since my last visit and I wanted to see it all but we arrived late in the day and everyone was already tired from the ride. 3 of us were using canes. Not the candy variety. There were plenty of decorations and lots Christmas items in the stores. But something was missing and I think it was in me. I don’t have the enthusiasm for Christmas I once had. Each year it feels somewhat off; begging me to do a different Christmas. How can I disappoint my family? I want to buy or make gifts only for those who really need things. Other than somewhere to live of my own, I need nothing and most of my family has enough as well.
This seems to be a time of great transition. The year 2012 is fast approaching and I firmly believe it’s going to require us to rethink everything we know. It will be the end of life as we know it, not the end of the world. Of course, it will be the end of someone’s world as it is each day. I’ve been experiencing great transition in the last 2 years. I’ve had 2 more Christmas seasons that were wonderful in their own way but really, really want more of that something different. I’m sure once my health is restored, I will have the energy to carry that out. I’m praying that at the end of 2 years, Bells Palsy will be done with me and I can get on with it. Finding my Christmas Spirit could help the wellness arrive.

I’m thinking there are lots of you that feel the same way about the holiday. Maybe some of you have even made the change and found new ways to express your Christmas Spirit. I’m open to your input on the ways you have made those changes. How do we once again keep some of the old and do something very new? I love the spirit of Christmas and want that spirit every day. It’s easier when there are little ones around but what about those of us who have no little ones. Putting a toy in a donation bin just doesn’t do it for me. I’ve even picked the name off a tree and filled a wish list. There is no human connection there. No eyes lighting up with wonder and joy. I’ve donate and helped much in my lifetime but there is something about that spiritual connection that is so necessary. That Spirit of Christmas is what I’m looking for again. That part of the holiday that feeds our soul and doesn’t drain our energy. Tell me how you get that. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

From my heart to yours,

In search of tradition

Christmas is 2 weeks away and again I’m nowhere near ready. I keep trying to do all the things I’ve always done. But each year brings its own challenge to my idea of tradition. I have baked massive amounts of cookies and breads since I was 15. I always loved shopping for the perfect gift for each person. I collected ornaments until there was no room left on my tree.

But as I aged and the children left home, the need for cookies and the ability to stand and make them has decreased. I end up giving what I make to anyone who will take them. I certainly don’t need them but they are almost 60 years of tradition started by my mother.

My family size has changed several times but so far I have been fortunate enough not to spend the holidays alone. That may come yet. The one constant in my life has been change. Each year I must adapt my traditions to my new situation. And that my friend, is the greatest gift my parents ever gave me. THE ABILITY TO ADAPT. I often want things to be just like they always were but when I look back, they weren’t always so nice. Every day brings a new challenge and a new gift.

So once again I’m letting go of expectation and trying hard to embrace a different kind of holiday. Maybe, with help from my adult children, I’ll have the important things done on time. The rest, I just have to let go of and move on to the next great task. That would be paying for Christmas. There is a sideways smile in there if you can’t feel it. I got up today so life is good.

From my heart to yours

In search of guidance

I have family and friends going through difficult times. Some of them are so difficult that it makes my little illness pale by comparison. I have been thinking so hard about what I wanted to accomplish with this blog and I’m beginning to see a glimmer of an answer. Sometimes you start these things without knowing why, only that you must.

At first I wanted to find anyone who knew more about Bells Palsy or had experience with it. Very few people that I have spoken with had heard of anyone being as debilitated by it as I have been. I even spoke with a brand new P.A. on the plane as we sat on the tarmac for 2 hours before our flight was completely cancelled. She recognized that I have Bells but when I described the other results I had from this virus she was astounded. So I guess in some way I’m trying to educate while I try to learn more about this odd illness that few know much about.

But the primary reason for writing at length about an illness is not as narcissistic as it appears. Yes, there is some self-absorption but I fully believe that an unexamined life can leave us repeating the same old missteps. I believe an illness is first and foremost a dis-ease with our life. It’s our body trying to speak to us. And every person I hear talk about their chronic illness will in the next breath talk about a situation in their life that’s giving them great stress. Some may even be remotely aware that the two could be connected. They just don’t know how connected their illnesses and the disillusionments are to each other.

My illness was a gift of opportunity. I finally had time to examine my life and figure out how to make it better. My life wasn’t as bad as so many I see. But it was draining my spirit and my resources emotionally. I don’t have several children to feed or a 50 year investment with a partner that can’t help himself but I know that even in those situations, if you don’t find a way to make a major shift, it will eventually cost you your life. It could end up costing you what could turn out to be a good life. I didn’t know how the change was going to happen. But the How isn’t up to us. Once the decision was made to make a change and shoot for the fullest life possible, the How presented itself. Help came out of the woodwork. My family and friends gave me the means and opportunity to turn my life upside down in what I believe was an act of self-preservation. At one time I believed that I really didn’t matter in the overall picture of life. I felt that I was just a blip on the screen. Somehow, that perception changed. I’m no better or less than anyone else but my life was a valuable gift and I had to cherish it. That’s why I have to write these blogs. To tell you that your body is the vehicle you travel through this life in and if some part of it isn’t working well you need to look at why it’s breaking down all the time and get it running smoothly again. There are a lot of good books out there by wonderfully gifted authors that say just that. I read them all. If you are interested, I can pass on the list of the best information available. I just didn’t apply them until it was almost too late.

My life looks messy and out of control right now. I have no real home of my own. I stay with whatever family member will allow me a spot to rest. My things are in storage while I wait for the next bit of Divine Guidance as well as the money to manifest into my checking account. So far, so good. This kind of out of control feels better than the other did. That is the checkpoint. How does it feel? That will tell you everything you need to know. Safety and security are an illusion. So jump off the wall. The bottom may not be as far down as you originally thought. It could bounce you higher than you ever imagined. Look forward at the possibilities. Looking back leads to accidents. Can’t see where you are going if you are looking behind you. Do whatever it takes to get well. Wellness lets you know you are heading in the correct direction. Each day I get a little better and know that all is working out perfectly. My daughter keeps reminding me of that. Let’s keep this conversation going. Tell me how your life is affecting your body. Don’t make me hang out here in the ethers alone.

From my heart to yours,