Looking for answers to life's questions

Life Lesson #1

I’m an old woman by some standards and very grateful to have reached old age. Not all are as fortunate. I hear a lot of comments about “old age isn’t for sissies” or “getting old is a bitch”. While both might be true, I’m always delighted that I get to wake up again and start another day full of the ordinary and extraordinary.

Just because I’m old doesn’t mean I have nothing left to learn. Some of my lessons have been a long time coming. Having trudged through life as a nomad, I’ve always had the feeling that I did not fit anywhere. I’ve talked about this before and such an ingrained feeling is a hard one to shake. But shake it I have. The lesson came when I was invited back to the same retreat I went to almost a year ago in April. I had a great time. I worked hard to keep going back to my quilt groups with that kind of feeling. I’ve finally come to the realization that the feeling isn’t a fact. I know this intellectually but to feel it deep in my heart was a big step.

I'm obviously not the only one struggling with this.

I’m obviously not the only one struggling with this.

My presence was requested at this slightly different group of women at the same retreat place! It finally at that moment settled into my cells that my feelings were just that, feelings.

It will be a different experience because you can’t step into the same river twice. Every experience is unique. I’ve decided that I will have a good time and learn as much as possible while there. It’s always my choice to either relax and enjoy or live with the fear of fitting in.

river

Only three nights with two half days is long enough for me. I’m hoping to finish a project that has been waiting a very long while to be started. As a beginner, I need all the help I can get and welcome it. I’ve almost completed two other projects I’ve been working on for quite a while. Photos to follow shortly.

In the meantime, here are photos of a gift I sent off before the holidays but didn’t get time to post. It’s a cheaters quilt panel but the colors were to fun to pass up. I put a couple of borders on and the backing and binding along with minimal quilting. There is also a sleeve in back for hanging. My first ever.


We also did a second little Christmas for my friend’s son. This way he wasn’t so overwhelmed with gifts at Christmas. I’m hoping to see more of him as the weather gets better and I feel more rested. I’m still waiting for that to happen.

I've open all the presents, read the books, played with the toys, now what?

I’ve open all the presents, read the books, played with the toys, now what?

Do you ever have feelings that should be questioned?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "Life Lesson #1" (64)

  1. Yes, constantly. Mine primarily come from the borderline personality disorder. My world consists almost exclusively of black and white. Every day I find myself having to stop and remember that there are millions of shades in between.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was reminded of a book that has been like a bible for me and I often recommend it. I hated it. Honestly. You may have even read it too. Byron Katie’s book, “Loving what is” She was the one who taught me to question my thinking but you have an extra dimension to that with BPD. I understand the illness unfortunately too well. I’ve been building my own foundation from the ground up for many years. I was missing a lot of essentials. Thanks for stopping by and keep questioning. There is a lot of gray out there.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think we all have feelings that should be questioned. I know I do on my writing. On other things too. I’m always grateful to wake up another day. If with hardships and bad things happening. A new day gives me a new start. 🙂 Big hugs my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Jackie. I question the writing and the sewing too but my own thinking is what really needs to be looked at. I’ve been doing this kind of work for years and come a long way. The feeling of being odd man out has always held a tight grip. I’m so done with it and ready to move on to the next challenge. I’m always ready, most days, to start all over again. There are a few that I just want to stay in and pull up the covers. Not many though. 🙂

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      • You make such a good point: we can take the time to see how far we’ve come, how much we’ve accomplished, how amazing we really are!! I know it’s true, but I need reminders all the time.

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  3. I tend to question everything! Your quilt is great – such a lot of stitchig, and so neat.
    I hope you enjoy your retreat, and your project goes smoothly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Viv. I enjoyed making it however it turned out. I’m still trying to understand the directions for the quilt I will be taking. The cutting is at least as hard as the sewing. 😦 I’m planning on a wonderful time with ladies I see once a month but don’t know all that well. When you spend 3 days together, you discover each other more fully. There will be wine and good food so all is well. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • My rotary cutter blades get blunt far too quickly, so I loathe cutting a lot of small pieces. I mostly strip piece, to avoid the chore.

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      • I like sewing strips best too. My son is always on the lookout for something like a laser cutter because I can’t see the lines on the ruler anymore. Cutting is the hardest part for me. I sew by feel with a piece of plastic at the scant 1/4 inch line that our group wants. I have so many kits bought years ago before I got sick thinking I would be able to to them. Now they are quite a challenge but I’ll keep working at it. 🙂 Thanks for reminding me to change my blades before going off on retreat. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I am always amazed when people refer to themselves as old, for I assume they must be much older than me. And I always laugh when I am faced with the reality of the number – for inwardly I feel younger than I ever have. I know the outsides don’t reflect that and that is also a cause of some amazement – or puzzlement on some days 🙂 I remain highly amused that I am retired and no longer have to go out and earn my living – it is such a treat to be able to spend each day however I wish.

    As to your question ‘Do you ever have feelings that should be questioned?’ I have for a number of years practised questioning all feelings that over take me. Over time it has enabled me to be much clearer about the source of my reactions to events that are presented to me. I see very clearly that all the depression I suffered for so many years was due to the ceaseless replaying of the mad thoughts and the downright lies the endless blathering inside my head fed me. I thought it was the truth and it wasn’t. After many years of searching for alternatives and trying to fix myself, I realised I had one really important option. I could stay in the dark or step into the light. I chose to examine my thoughts, challenge them and look for the truth. [And the truth shall set you free.]

    I used to tell my clients about the Work of Byron Katie who developed a succinct and workable formula to examine unwanted feelings. I was a student of Don Miguel Ruiz and ‘The Four Agreements’ for a number of years and the lessons taken from his work have become fixed in my being. Of interest may also be the books on rewiring your brain – there are many out there and you have probably read ’em 🙂 I chose to work with Joe Dispenza’s ‘Evolve Your Brain’.

    Your quilting is beautiful – enjoy your time with the group!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, Pauline. Byron Katie is the great taxer of thought. I read her work a good ten years ago and she set me straight on so many other things. The fitting in was the last holdout. I remember tossing her book aside and saying to myself, I wasn’t ready to let go of those thoughts. I still wanted to be angry. So I set aside some time to stew in it and then finished reading. She was way ahead of us and a great torch light. I have also read “The Four Agreements. I think we have been wandering similar paths. Most of my difficulties have been my own thinking. I’ve been reading Joe Dispenza’s “Breaking the habit of being yourself” I am grateful to learn these lessons while there is still time to use them. Thanks for stopping by. I will definitely have a good time next week. It’s a decision I have with each experience. I’m finally getting there.:)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Most of my questions come to mind when I first wake up in the wee hours of the morning…I’m talking crazy stuff. Your quilt is beautiful, Marlene. I hope you getting some good rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Marlene! Welcome to the club! I believe there are many of us who don’t “fit” in! I didn’t from the moment I was born. I have and still question many things in life and the world. And will continue to do so, because I think it is healthy, as long as I don’t insult anyone. An opinion is just that, an opinion. And fitting in, I don’t feel like I oftentimes do. At the same time I prefer to do dance to my own drum!
    Anyway, this is one of the reasons I enjoy your friendship so much! Being able to be ourselves with each other! Hugs from me to you! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading Sabine. It just fell together like this today. I have one idea. My fingers hit the keyboard differently. 🙂 I’m done worrying about fitting in. I’m going into every situation with confidence from now on. They accept or they don’t. I’m not allowing my fear to run things anymore. I’m beginning to think most of us don’t feel like we fit in. The rest are smart enough to not care. Hugs back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Feelings can generally be grouped into attraction and aversion (like and dislike) or neutrality. In Buddhist practice. all feelings are considered to be something we should challenge, for if we are attracted to something we can be lured into unwholesome behaviours in attempting to graso and cling to it. If we feel aversion to something, we can easily fall into dislike, anger,hatred. Even neutral feelings can lead to unwholesome behaviours such as apathy or worse. So, I practice to notice what feelings are arising and see if I can understand them in order to successfully challenge them. Cheers Steph xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Holly said:

    Every. Single. Day.

    I do like that river quote though…I never thought of it like that but so true…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carol Ferenc said:

    All the time! I think many, many people feel that they don’t fit in ~ as if it’s human nature to question our worth. Love the river quote, Marlene. Very wise words!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You know it’s a funny thing Marlene. I am older and all of a sudden I fit in! I feel good where I’m at ( most of the time), I feel comfortable in my skin( even if there’s too much of it and it’s kind of soft and squishy in too many places), and I don’t feel like the odd woman out too often anymore. If this is what it means to get “old” (except for all the aches and pains) I should have tried this when I was a lot younger! Oh yeah, I guess that wouldn’t work, I needed to gain this wisdom with age! I love your quilt. Hope you have a great time at your quilting retreat. Like Pauline, I think retirement is great! I love not having to worry about where I have to be and I can wake up and enjoy where I want to be!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you completely! I would have liked to feel this comfortable in my sagging squishy body years ago. I love my age and for the most part don’t care what folks think of me. I was surprised to see a lot of women my age still in the junior high attitude of exclusion for people they have no history with. It is uncomfortable but somehow I’ve managed to circumvent it and win them over. I’m mostly very quiet and non intrusive with a group. The group I belonged to in Arizona was mostly women that were from everywhere and they were quicker to accept new faces. Here, not so much. I’m kind of like water to a mountain. Eventually, I wear away the resistance. 🙂 I’m glad you liked the quilt. Just finished the other one I have been working on for over a year. 😦 One more just about done. Starting a new one this week. Directions are a nightmare. But I’ll have help at the retreat. 🙂 I love my age and my freedom too. Giant hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m always surprised when I read these types of feelings from people who’s company I’ve really enjoyed and you my dear are delightful. Now, I know we’ve only been able to connect here, on WP, so far. But honestly, I think you get the just of people here quite well. I know this because I’ve personally met a number of blogging friends and I haven’t been wrong yet. All adorable, all totally easy to love. So Marlene-a-doodle-bug 😀 I just can’t imagine you not fitting in. Is it possible you’ve been surrounded by the wrong people over the years? The, “it’s not me, it’s you” switch-a-roe might be applicable in your case. Hey? I must say, if you met me at the door in long sleeve jammies, a night cap and your nose hose air machine, I might be alarmed, but then I’d wrap you in big ol’ hug and we’d laugh.

    Now I really must get my self together and post about my gorgeous Christmas treasures. You’re such a dear to make this beautiful quilt for me. I feel totally loved. Believe it or not, your package is still on my counter. sealed before our trip, then opened again to add one more thing. Watch your mailbox soon, LOL….omgosh I’m the worst. A million pardons, I should also rewrite the card because it’s not even close to Christmas, but it’s good for a laugh. Maybe it’s Christmas on Mars, they’re farther from the sun and it’s still December there….yah, lets go with that. Oh dear. Hugs xoxo K

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m smiling from ear to ear here. I can just see me showing up on your doorstep looking like a space alien waiting for a hug. :)) We should write a movie script about that instead of all the terror that is now written. As for Christmas, I like it all year long. I’m working on my ideas for next year. It takes me so long to get things done that I have to start earlier and earlier. But it’s fun and I enjoy it. As for fitting in, can you imagine the look on the faces of those quilters when I invited myself to join their group not knowing it was by invitation only? No one said anything overtly but just ignored me for months. I finally just won them over and now they want to make sure I’m going to be there. Bribing with chocolate is a great way to start softening up stodgy ladies. 🙂 Then I try to find ways to make them laugh. Next thing you know, I’ve wormed my way in. Haha. Fooled them. They have all known each other for years. Me, I’ve been the nomad. Too bad. I have something to add. :)Giant squishy hugs. M

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh hey Marlenie-bean, have an awesome retreat…..you’ll knock their socks off xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, sweet pea. I’m a dragging up the rear quilter but I have a good time and that’s what counts. A change of pace and view. Change can open the creative channels as you well know. 😉 Hope you had a wonderful trip yourself. Your artwork was wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I remember you writing of the retreat last year, and am so glad you were asked back. Reading that you are “going into every situation with confidence from now on” made me very happy.
    We do all have self doubt at times, and it does wake me at night sometimes. I’ll try to use you as my example!
    “They accept or they don’t. I’m not allowing my fear to run things anymore” – great words, Marlene!

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    • I think I used to dress in self doubt every morning and wear it like sack cloth to make sure I didn’t get too full of myself. Now I dress in possibility and let it lift me through my day. Age has a lot to be said for it. The older I get, the less I worry about acceptance from anyone. It’s a great time of life and I’m enjoying every moment of it. Thanks for stopping by. Have so enjoyed all your snow photos. I’ll be catching up soon. 🙂

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  14. Hi Marlene! I am challenging you to the 3 Day Quotes Challenge! I know you are on your way to the retreat, but I thought you might want to do this whenever you get around to it or feel like it! Have a great time!!! You’ve earned it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m constantly questioning myself. Sometimes in a good way, others not. It challenges me to keep trying to be my best me.

    PS – is that Misty’s little one? What a cutie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are the only one to comment on him. He was adorable playing with the empty can on his head. The toys and books lost their appeal. I think it’s always good to question our thoughts and see why they have a hold on us.. Thanks for stopping by and hope you are doing well.

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      • Yeah, that happens with little ones…paper, wrapping and an empty box are more fun; plus those objects lend themselves to endless creativity!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Marlene, the last thing I think of when I think of you is being old. I’m glad to hear you are joining your ever changing group again this year as I remember you posting how much fun you had last year.

    I think that feeling of not belonging is common to a lot of us, I know I’ve always felt outside of things all my life. I too was nomadic until I had children and decided they deserved to be in one place to make friends they could grow old with. Today I am happy staying in one place and trying out this lifestyle of staying put but I still feel like the outsider. Guess that’s just the way things are for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So that’s what happened to you. I couldn’t find your posts and was worried. I’m pretty comfortable with my life right now but it was nice for someone to say they enjoyed my presence and wanted me to come back. I probably won’t do another one after this because it’s all such a struggle now I’m not sure how much I can do for how much longer. I will enjoy it though. I don’t feel particularly old but my age says I am. I’m still in pretty good shape for the shape I’m in. 🙂 I’m not a big joiner but I really want a place to learn and to give back some. Tomorrow is the day so I won’t be having the laptop with me. Have a wonderful week. I’ll see you when I get back.

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    • agreed! There are certainly people in the world that seem old to me. Marlene is not one of them. 🙂

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  17. I am so excited that you are taking stepping out and embracing new experiences.. Yes we are never too old to learn, and I also will be sharing something I have taken up. And I have the rest of my life to perfect it 🙂 lol..
    Love the quilt Marlene.. so beautiful.. thank you my friend for sharing and to answer your question about those feelings.. Yes had some recently and took my self away to condense them and shake them off.. 🙂
    Hope the weather where you are is being kind to you.. Here wet and windy, with some snow shows tomorrow maybe.. But its been very mild for winter here, The rainfall broke all records and there have been places in the North where the floods have ruined thousands of homes.. Very sad as they were hit before Christmas and some have re-flooded 3 times now..
    So I always count my blessings and give thanks for all that we are blessed with..
    Take care Marlene.. Love Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your sweet words, Sue. I like how you took yourself away to condense them and shake them off. Years ago I would have wallowed in them. Now I look at them very hard and ask myself if the feelings have any foundation. Sometimes they do, most of the time, it’s my own fear getting in the way. At least I’m looking at them now with open eyes and heart.
      The weather just this day turned more winter like. It’s been way too balmy and very wet, setting records here too. Same stories here as you have, I’m grateful for winter and would long to see it be winter. We need a good freeze . The weather is very confused everywhere. I’ll be away this week from my computer but will be catching up in the few weeks before my next trip. At least I hope so. 🙂 Giant hugs to you.

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      • Yes Marlene, we need a frost to clear the air.. You take care now, when out and about.. and see you very soon when you get back.. Have a safe journey my friend.. Love Sue ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve felt like an outsider and believed lies about myself all my life. I want so much not to do it and I try, but I know I am the only one who can break free. So every day I sit quietly with a cup of tea and read a five minute devotional, say a little prayer and set the day in God’s hands. No matter how the day goes, and too often I’m thrown a curve ball, I know that God is with me. So long as I remember that I’m okay, but if I look too far ahead into the future, I am lost. My husband tells me that my best years are ahead of me and I have to believe it. And I believe it for you dear friend. What a wonderful revelation for you, how valued you are by so many and your generous, kind, beautiful spirit. I love the quote about the river, love it. Even looking at the photo of the little boy makes me want to cry and give you a huge hug and say I am so thankful I met you. You make my life better ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, Sherri! Your kind, sweet words make me blush. I’ve done a lot of work to get here and still occasionally have a rough one. Then I remember to question the thought. Wasn’t that photo fun? He was having the best time first with a tube from the wrapping paper and then from the trash can that was of course clean. It brings life into perspective. You have so much to offer as well. I love reading your stories. They are so well written and trigger so much for me. I want more time for this. I’m heading out in an hour and won’t be back till the end of the week. I’ll miss everyone but will be enjoying my retreat. Giant hugs dear heart.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I mean every word ❤ And yes, that photo really does bring everything into perspective. Thank you Marlene, that is very kind of you, I love sharing memories with you. Have a wonderful time at the retreat and we'll all be eagerly awaiting to hear your latest news when you return and have a chance to touch the ground! Sending love & hugs and happy, safe travels dear friend xoxo

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  19. Marlene, welcome home. I can’t wait to hear about the retreat, and hope it was as wonderful as you are.

    That quilt is beautiful! So perfectly Boomdee in every way. I love the way gifts travel throughout our blogging community. It’s really quite extraordinary.

    As for fitting in, I too have often felt like the odd one out. I’m okay with that now, comfortable in my own skin. Blogging has been wonderful in that regard too, as I’ve found people like you, Pauline, Boomdee, Laurie…and on and on. I’ve visited blogs once and never went back. It’s a vibe. We’ve all found “our people” here. It’s grand.

    Big, big, big hug, wonderful woman.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I got back late this afternoon and had a WONDERFUL time. Almost finished my quilt. Maybe this weekend. Not much left to do then I can photograph it and get a post done. 🙂 Yes, we have met some wonderful people here with you at the top of my list. I love making things for friends. I always say I can feel someones heart in their writing. I don’t have a lot of time to waste so I don’t. 🙂 Hope you are doing well. I have a lot of catching up to do. 🙂 See you soon.

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  20. I think we all questions our feelings from time to time.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I think that is one of the pleasures of blogging, you can find kindred spirits in any corner of the world, knowing you speak the same language.

    I definitely struggle with the same issue. I’m so glad you found your retreat group, and that they reflect back to you what a kind, fun, talented and interesting person you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trying to get my post ready but still catching up on sleep, groceries, etc. Hopefully soon. Thanks for stopping by. Still catching up on my reading too.

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  22. Oh…Marlene! Yes! I love that you are ‘willing’ to “JUST DO IT!!” 😉 Your incredible creative spirit warms my heart…and the gifts you offer the world are fabulous! “The feeling isn’t a fact” and our days, like the river, offer infinite possibilities 🙂 Much love to you on this journey. I am so thankful that we walk in this energy together!! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  23. This post makes me so happy and uplifted, and the comments are even better. What a fabulous community we are. You know, I was thinking… I wonder if a certain kind of people become bloggers? And if that’s why so many of us click together? I totally agree with one of the comments above (was it Boomdee?) that we had found people in real life to be who we thought they were in their blogs. It makes me so satisfied to realize that so many of us are our honest selves online. It’s a good place to come clean. To talk about our fears like being old and being odd. It’s also a good place to come together and create and support and share tips on how to view our path in life. I think I am going to come back and read the comments from this post a few more times.

    I’m also glad to hear that you got invited back to the quilter’s group, and that it went well! Feeling wanted is SUCH a good feeling. And! I, too, keep planning to do a post on gifts. Yours among them. I had a delish Christmas, but in the past several months, my favourite gifts have been housewarming gifts. They are so varied and so appreciated. I need to tell someone.

    Thank you for this warm and courageous and wise post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are most welcome, Crystal. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind comment. I do feel more connected to my online community than to most of the friends I have made in other groups. It’s hard to connect after a nomadic life to groups that have been together for ages. Your comment of ” our fears like being old and being odd.” hits home the most. Old and odd are not the best combination but my true calling card. 🙂 It was nice to be asked back. It’s a rare treat for me. I think my blog is more my home than anywhere else. I’m glad you had a wonderful Christmas and hoping you tell more of the housewarming gifts. Thanks for stopping by. Miss you.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. So, you quilt? My preschool class has a dear, beloved friend, Milly. She’s a master quilter. Over the years she and the children have designed and made quilts. Art, yet again. One hangs at at a museum in historic Philidelphia, and one hangs at a Fisher House in Boston. We’re working on another one this year. So exciting for children to be introduced to quilting. They love it! I’ve written about quilting and Milly on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m no master quilter. just a beginner. I struggle with it but love the end result. I am the deep appreciator of all things art. My son draws, paints and photographs. I sew and try everything I can.:) I’m happy someone is getting children into quilting.

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