Looking for answers to life's questions

Archive for June, 2012

In Search of Time

What is it about time that has us all in such a state? We are always running out of it or have too much of it on our hands. Often time seems to fly or it can drag on and on.

I like to read about all the changes in sciences perception of time. First they say that time is speeding up; then they say it’s slowing down. I’ve been reading a rather lengthy article on Wired Science by Sean Carroll to try to understand time a bit better. He has a theoretical physicists’ approach to understanding time. Here is a tiny excerpt._

The past is different from the future. We remember the past but we don’t remember the future. There are irreversible processes. There are things that happen, like you turn an egg into an omelet, but you can’t turn an omelet into an egg.


It’s called entropy.

What I want to understand is why time slows down when you are waiting to get well but speeds up when you are in the company of great friends. I always have a long list of things to do which only gets longer as I check things off that list but I run out of time to get them done. If I’m looking forward to an event, time drags on till that moment finally gets there. Then miraculously the event is over before you can blink an eye. It’s like Christmas when we were kids versus Christmas when we are parents.

This year is supposed to be the end of time according to the Mayan calendar. How is that going to work? Maybe time will just seem different. I’m not too worried about it since I’m always running out of time anyway.
When I was raising kids, I would swear that I needed a 48 hour day. Then, while I was working in my office with not enough work to keep me looking busy, that day would feel 48 hours long. I kept checking the clock but for hours on end, it just didn’t move.

Time is the most precious commodity we as humans have. Animals do not care about time. I haven’t seen even one wearing a watch or checking the clock. I first became aware of the time crunch when my mother moved into her manufactured home next door to me. I was aware on some level that her illness was terminal. Pulmonary Fibrosis, also known as Interstitial Lung Disease, has according to the internet, a two-five year life expectancy. We didn’t know how long she’d had it before they diagnosed it. I spent every minute I could with her during that year while still trying to give her the autonomy she desired. Then they found a tumor under her ribs and let her know it was there. She was gone in seven days and I was rocked to my foundation. I wanted more time with her.

The following year I was diagnosed with the same illness that took my mother’s life. It showed up on the x-rays. That’s when time became something to be truly passionate about. I wanted more time and by gosh, I was going to get it. So I meditated daily and prayed hard. The next x-ray showed nothing. Maybe it was a flaw in the film. I didn’t care. That was 10 years ago and I had a bit more time.

But do we ever use that precious time wisely enough? How is it supposed to be spent? Like money in the bank, you have choices to make about your time. To me it’s more precious than gold though sometimes I fritter away my money as well as my time. Now when I want to be doing something creative, my body says “no, you must rest to make up for all the running this poor body into the ground.” Bells Palsy is here to give me time and take my time. I get to read long articles about time and to do the writing I’ve never had time for. Sometimes when I’m resting I feel like I’m wasting time. We were big on getting things accomplished in my family and resting was never on the list.

It seems the less time we have, the more precious it is to us. I spent the first 18 years with my family of origin minus one to recover from a trauma. The next 18 were spent with my first husband and our children. Although by then we had been divorced for 5 years, my first husband didn’t get enough time, passing from this earth at only 42.

I invested, not so wisely, the next 25 with the last husband that wanted all my time. I still didn’t have a clue as to how little time there was to accomplish so many things on my list. As I was leaving I declared that I was burning daylight. The rest is my time and I am using it carefully. Getting well is still at the top of my list of things to accomplish. Even if wellness never happens, I get to write, take classes on writing, read, garden, sew and spend time with family and friends that support and nourish me rather than drain me. I can also continue to give of my time and resources without restraint.

Time is an illusion.”
― Albert Einstein

From my heart to yours,

In Search of Something to Say

While trying to re-evaluate the purpose of why I blog, I had to look at the many ways it has helped me. The original intent was to find anyone that had a similar experience to mine with Bells Palsy. I wanted answers and help in recovering from this very debilitating illness.

What I received from this blog was something different altogether. Being a very private person who works hard to keep emotions and personal matters to myself or in my journal, I have been forced to go outside my comfort zone by putting myself out there for scrutiny and possible criticism. Bloggers, it turns out, are a kind and encouraging group of people. They have helped me to grow and thereby continue to heal.

I have heard from great writers who are willing to share their skills and be patient with mine. I have heard from crafters, gardeners, teenagers and grandmothers. As a person whose world has become so much smaller due to this illness, several moves and a divorce resulting in a loss of extended family as well as friends, I have found a community that is willing to share themselves with me. I want them all to know how much I appreciate their encouragement. They didn’t even need to have a similar experience in life to be available for someone else.

Now that I’m driving a bit more, changing my focus from illness to wellness and living a full life, what will I have to say to you? I’m not sure I have an answer yet. Maybe you can let me know if anything I have to say moves you.

My last husband was a talker which I think is rare for a man. Every thought in his head came out of his mouth. You remember the cartoon bubbles that had blab, blab, blab written in them? That’s kind of how it seemed but I always listened anyway because you never knew if there was a grain of something important in that monologue. I became silent during that marriage because he was so busy talking, there was no listening (on his part). That’s when I began to write in journals. I want my writing now to be like my conversations; clear and to the point. I’m not full of fluff and flowery speech. I have friends who write beautiful, flowery prose. I envy them and enjoy reading their work. It’s just not me. I’m a Virgo if that clears up anything.

My interests are as varied as quantum physics (did you know time may be slowing down even though it feels like it’s speeding up) to quilting. I have moved over 30 times, lived in 3 countries and 10 states. I love technology and learning about Facebook, Pinterest, my Droid and now blogging. There is a lot of information out there. It gets a little harder to absorb as I get older. I love reading almost anything but romance for obvious reasons (twice divorced and done). In all of that, do I have anything to say? I don’t want to babble about unimportant things. Silence is golden especially when you don’t have it. I have an aversion to diarrhea of the mouth.

There are many things I feel strongly about. Mistreatment of animals can send me over the edge. They have no voice to say they are being abused or neglected. How we care for our planet is another big one. I am an organic gardener composting all our green waste. My son is thrilled with all the holes I’ve dug in his yard. I kill weeds and unwanted grasses with hot water and vinegar. Works like a charm.

Education shouldn’t stop when you get out of high school. Although college was not an option for me for many reasons, I believe in continued self-education. Books are too easy to come by and all of you are there to explain if I don’t understand something on my own. Learning is the most important thing in my life. I always said if I don’t learn something new each day, just close the lid because I must be dead.

Life is good and I have nothing to whine about except that I have no one to drink a glass of wine with. My son doesn’t drink and I refuse to drink alone. Where did he come from? He couldn’t have come from this German who had beer in a baby bottle. So I will move on to other subjects more often than not. Writing is at the top of my list right now. I was making up limericks for class at 4:00 in the morning on the notebook that lives in my bed. I didn’t even know what a limerick was till last week. Maybe I’ll even learn to write poetry. Short and to the point poetry.

From my heart to yours,

In Search of a Passion

What is it that a person wants to do so much that they would do it for free? That’s what someone told me was the definition of passionate vocation. That job, occupation, career or avocation is the thing that you bounce out of bed in the morning to do with the greatest enthusiasm. How do you figure out what it is. It’s a question I’ve asked repeatedly.

My last husband had passion for his job as a fire department mechanic. He would jump up in the morning so filled with enthusiasm for the coming day of very hard work. He was born with an innate ability to troubleshoot mechanical problems just by listening to an engine and then quickly making things work. It fed him in a way like nothing I had ever done for work. I think the most fascinating thing was that when the situation on his job changed so much that he hated the thought of going to work, his vision gave out so he had to take early retirement. That was my first clear evidence of the body mind connection.

There are lots of books out there that supposedly will show you how to find your passion. I think I’ve read them all, doing the exercises required and still find more questions than answers. Having passion for your work brings passion for life or is it the other way around?

Needing to make an augmenting income to my little Social Security check, it has been suggested that I need to find some passive income. Most days I can do no more than an hour or two of real concentrated work on anything courtesy of Bells Palsy. For most of my life I was the proverbial white tornado. I went to high school, cosmetology school and held a part-time job while trying to have a semblance of a social life. Did you know there were only 24 hours in a day that requires 48? I have always worked hard and rarely sat still unless I had a child in my lap or work in my hands. This being still is a real challenge for me.

So where do my passions lie? How did you find yours? I guess the number one thing I love is books. Getting lost in a story when I was growing up made the rest of life more bearable. Put me in a bookstore and give me a cot to sleep on with even minimal access to food; you can color me one happy camper. That’s a fantasy of mine. Fabric stores come in second to book stores. To me fabrics are a form of art and inspiration.

I go in and touch each piece and see in my mind’s eye what it can become. I’ve often thought it would be fun to have a combination of both a book and fabric store, unfortunately, each are businesses dying on the vine and I have no capital. I did work in a fabric store for a year or two, giving it up because I rarely took home a full paycheck and I had a child to feed. I was able to make many beautiful dresses for my daughter though. Sewing, sadly, is not my innate gift. Buying fabric and books is something that brings me great joy until I have to pay the bills. I actually had more books in my house than the tiny bookstore in the village I no longer call home.

An online bookstore crossed my mind but I think Amazon has that market cornered. We are on a first name basis and I provide someone there with a nice paycheck each year. I’ve sold some of my books back to bookstores but what you get for them used is so much less than they are worth to me as reference. They are all friends of mine. How do you part with a friend?

Fabric is a bit more bulky to warehouse for an online store and when you run out of a certain bolt, more is just not available. Ask any quilter or seamstress about it when they have come up short to finish a project. Neither books nor fabric has a good profit margin.

Writing is something akin to breathing for me. Can this be the thing that gets me out of bed with a bounce in the morning? It certainly wakes me up many times during the night with an insight that must be written on the tablet that lives in my bed. Titles and phrases all looking for me to breathe life into them. I’ve heard from so many really, really good writers out there and question whether I will ever join their ranks. It doesn’t really matter. I will continue to write until there is not a thought left in my mind. That could be tomorrow.

So I continue to search for that innate quality that will have me joyously getting to work. Now I have the time to do the research and with the help of family, friends and even people I have yet to meet, I will find it. Too bad dazzling the world with B.S. doesn’t pay well either. You are supposed to be smiling now.

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious
Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

From my heart to yours,

In Search of a New Story

For the first time in my life I am getting the opportunity to take a creative writing class. It’s at the senior center and I have become an early member at the ripe age of 63. I fit in quite nicely there with my silver cane and cautious step. They have been warm and kind even though I still find it hard to express myself verbally as the facial paralysis continues. That’s where the writing comes in.

Writing is something I have been doing for the past 25 years to preserve what sanity I had left. I know, it’s questionable as to the amount of sanity still available. I’ve never been a story writer per se but I love a good story. So many wonderful writers out there weave a web that draws me in and I can’t put the book down until I see what happens to the characters. I recently read a story of a woman whose husband had left her for someone younger. When that didn’t work out he came and tried to manipulate his way back into her life. I had decided then and there that if the writer had her heroine take back the louse, I would never read another of her books. Lucky for her the story turned out how I wanted it too. I was caught up as though I knew these people. That’s the kind of story I want to write. I want to find where my creativity and imagination have been hiding and bring them out to play. Daily journal writing documenting the chaos that is my life is what I do and in a way it’s a story. It’s a “just the facts ma’am” kind of writing that if I told the whole story it could make you laugh, cry and curl your hair. It’s a story that I will eventually need to tell in full.

Though I am without formal education, at my heart level I think I’ve always been or at least wanted to be a teacher. Now I am trying to use my words to teach. For the time being, my subject is Bells Palsy; how I’m trying to heal from it and the consequences of not heeding the bodies warning signs that something in life isn’t working. My life was out of balance and now my body is trying to get its balance back. Funny how that worked out. It would help a lot if the Bells Palsy hadn’t short circuited the pathway in my brain that helps me find words but slowly and with certainty, new circuits are forming and old circuits are healing. Sentences are coming quicker and writing anything helps that healing process.

I’ve written well over 20 volumes of the same old story of my life. When I hear others that I know continue to whine about their lives I think to myself; either do something about it or shut up already. I’m pretty sure my family and friends were thinking the same thing about me. Thank goodness I’ve finally turned the corner with that. These last two plus years have brought the greatest and most positive changes in my journal writing.

Now I write about the actions I’m taking, like signing up for the class or getting the sewing and needlework back out. I write about the house I want to buy when the house I still jointly own with my ex-husband is sold. No, I’m not holding my breath. I have written the description of every room down in detail. My cozy cottage has a welcoming and spacious covered front porch with several wicker chairs and small tables so my neighbors can come and sit; sip tea or wine while exchanging ideas and stories. There is a library in this house and a comfy white wicker desk and chair to sit at and write. The kitchen is optional. I’d prefer take out from the local health food store or just fresh fruits and veggies.

I believe we create the life we live with our thoughts, attitudes and actions. My thoughts become words and then they can become real things. My life so far has me really wondering what the heck I was thinking back then. Through my writing I want to create the most interesting and fun life ever. I want to tell you about all the places I have seen in the world and all the interesting people I have met. Will I ever be a real writer? I don’t have an answer to that though I would like that very much. That’s why I’m taking a class. What makes a writer real? At the end of the day, I guess it’s the need and desire to put words together to express ourselves in print. Each of us does it a bit differently. That’s what makes it so very interesting. Vive la difference!

The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home
. – John Campbell

From my heart to yours,

In Search of Something More

I am bored with the subject of Bells Palsy and I am never usually bored. I no longer care for this to be at the forefront of my existence. I want something more from my life. Exactly what that is remains a bit elusive though I’m diligently excavating it.

There is so much I want from life that it’s scary. I’ve been told by both former husbands that I should be satisfied with my life. I felt shame that I couldn’t be satisfied at the time. Then I realized that satisfaction to me is being complacent with the status quo. Complacency inhibits growth and more than anything, growth is the name of my game. I chose gratitude over satisfaction. I am always grateful for the good and the not so good. Even this illness has given me a gift. It’s given me time to excavate.

It seems like an eternity ago that I read Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book “Something More” and I finally felt I had permission to ask life for more of something different. I read that book twice and bought several copies as gifts. Now I’m searching again for what that could be. I tend to dream small. That yields small results. Now I want to go big, huge, gigantic. When you look at the condition of the world it would remind me to stay small. I’m going out there with my eyes closed and my heart open. Yes, that’s very Pollyanna of me but like I’ve said before, fear and faith cannot occupy the same space.

I want complete wellness and health. I need health first and foremost because I have no medical insurance. I can’t afford to be ill. Other than Bells Palsy and a tiny problem with obesity, I’m well on the way to health. Yes, I’m working on the weight.

I want to make a great income. Some people think it’s not spiritual to be wealthy. If the amount of money you have relates to how close to God you are, then I should be sitting in God’s lap right now. I can’t buy that apartment building or mobile home complex to help other women start over if I’m not wealthy. It’s really hard to earn a good living if you are not well. Hand in hand they must go.

I want a community of friends. I added up the number of times I’ve moved in my life and it was over 30 before I was 30. I’m staying put with my son for now because I want one last move into a home that I own myself alone. Living alone doesn’t mean being alone. I still want to travel but I want that base that feels like I belong there. When you move that much, it always feels like you are on the outside looking in. So this week I’ve decide to join the Senior Center here and take some classes and see if I can make some friends until I find that place called home. I’ll take a creative writing class and join the needlework group so maybe I can find out where the quilters are in this area. There are no quilt stores offering classes here anymore so I guess I have to work harder to reach out.

I’m looking for ways to be of service. Though I have no particularly great talents to share, I look for other ways to contribute to the greater good. Time and money are the other alternative. Time I have, money right now, not so much. I do plan to find a way to change that drawback. A stroke of insight would be helpful here. Make it without the stroke if you don’t mind. If you have some insight, I’m willing to listen. I know I’m asking for a great deal but if you don’t ask, well, can it be given? I trust that good can come from even the worst of situations. This one has outlived its’ usefulness so it’s time for the Bells Palsy to move on. I’m ready to find that “Something More”. I’ll let you know when I do.

A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things. Plato

From my heart to yours,