Certainly Uncertain

I had kinda decided I was done with this blog. Even made a print book of it, pretty cool.

But I felt a need to write here, for what more uncertain time are we in but now? Covid 19 has changed everything. Remote working for many, stores and restaurants closed except for pick up, many people without paychecks… and no one really knows what will happen next, in spite of the government making moves to “open up the country.”

I feel at loose ends, because I took today off.  I’d really like to go to the beach, get my feet wet, feel the wildness of it. But it is an hour and a half drive, each way, and no guarantee that I could find a beach that is open. So, instead, I have been lounging around in bed with coffee and computer, listening to the birds through the open window.

I am feeling the loneliness of this time. Many people are posting about the trials of working at home and having to care for and/or homeschool their children simultaneously. I know that’s hard, and the thought of it sounds pretty exhausting. But it is also hard to be in long distance relationships, not only with your children and grandchildren, but also with your husband. I’m very thankful for the technology that allows us to see and speak with each other face to face. But it is no substitute for physical presence.

Five weeks ago, I got my hair cut. A week later the hair salons were ordered to close. My husband, 200 miles away, not so fortunate. He is getting pretty shaggy. My coworkers who get their nails done consistently are all au natural. Conversations focus around those type of trials and tribulations. It is the small things that are easier to discuss. Harder to talk about are the people who are dying, and the businesses that will not bounce back.

This year’s high school seniors missed out on prom, and graduation ceremonies are postponed or cancelled. The Class of 2020 will have a different sort of story to tell their children. College students have gone home to study online, and parents are wondering if they will get reimbursed for dorm costs, and some colleges plan to continue with online study only – a wave of the future? Some remote workers will never return to work in an office.

The new normal isn’t just coming, it is here. Some of it will look like the old normal. But this is the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, the ushering in of unity with diversity. The old ways will fall away, they always do, in spite of resistance and the abundance of conspiracy theories. There is often great suffering when great change is happening.

There is a new industry that I expect will be around for a while – Fashion Face Masks. We will see people wearing masks for a very long time. And I, for one, will never shake hands again.

 

A lot can happen in a year.

I love Timehop. It would be so cool to have my whole life on it. Year by year, the journey unfolds. On Jan 3, I got the notification of what I wrote about 2015, and I thought wow, where has the time gone? So much has changed in the last few months that writing has been on the bottom of my list. But, here I am now!

New Year’s Eve, 2015: I was in a cottage in the country, drinking champagne and making intentions with my partner, Robert. I said I was going to leave behind “I can’t” and make having more compassion be my main intention. I believe I have been successful with the former and hope that I am making progress on the latter.

New Year’s Eve 2016: I was home, babysitting my three-year-old granddaughter while her now single mother worked. And Robert was also at work. Making intentions was the farthest thing from my mind. After the little one finally went to sleep, I was glad to just sit and watch a movie!

Caring for a young child twice weekly so her mother can make ends meet was not something I anticipated a year ago, or ever, for that matter. But, when circumstances change, what are you gonna do? Although at times it exhausts me, I am glad that I can be there for my daughter and have a special relationship with my granddaughter.

Speaking of grandchildren, 2016 brought me two more! The announcement came in early spring – my second oldest son and his wife were expecting twins! And they arrived, two healthy boys, in mid-July, right after I quit my job. And, with that freedom, I make a weekly 120 mile round trip across Houston to spend the day with them and give their parents a bit of a break. wp-1483928846636.jpg

In other very major news, Robert and I are now engaged! After three amazing years together, “in spite of it all and because of it all” (as he and I often say), we have taken this step of commitment. He asked me on November 29, on bent knees, and I said yes. I never thought I would want to marry again, but when I thought that, I hadn’t met Robert!wp-1484019838009.png

Then in early December, I got my birthday wish! I turned 60 and my deepest desire was to have all my children together. Robert threw me a wonderful party, and all seven of them were there,along with some of their spouses and all the grandchildren. It was quite a feat! My dear sister Ellen and her husband drove down to celebrate with us, and my closest friends were there as well. It was wonderful, marvelous, unforgettable!wp-1484019648440.pngwp-1484019669518.png

Biggest plan for 2017: we are going to move house. Going to go north of Houston, away from the city and the refineries I’ve lived by all my life. Going to where the air is cleaner, but close enough to the grandkids to continue the current relationships. It’s a leap of faith in many ways, but I’m ready for this next adventure!

I am continuing to study with New World Ayurveda, and applying what I know to my life and sharing with family and friends as much as they are interested and want to know. I  will finish this course in April and take another trip up to Maine for the final intensive. Robert is in this class too, so will travel with me. With the completion of the course, I will be qualified not only as an Ayurvedic Practitioner, but I will also be a Spiritual Counselor and meditation teacher. Since I am also certified and registered as a yoga teacher, I feel a sense of pride in accumulating these credentials over the last two years.

But since the priorities of my life have shifted unexpectedly, I haven’t started a practice as I had expected. And I feel ok about it, and whatever else may change. I am blessed to be able to work part-time from home doing medical reviews right now, because there’s just too much going on right now for me to start a business!

As I was readying the little one for bed tonight, and taking some time to hold and cuddle her, I was reminded that this is what is important. Just being, and loving, not always doing.

The message I have received in my spirit – my intention, my vision for this year and beyond:

 Whatever choices I make on the path of life, as long as love reigns over all, nothing else really matters.

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Semi-retirement and following passions

I went down to the lake this morning with a cup of coffee. It waswp-1473004970418.jpg a beautiful clear morning – birds singing, fish jumping – and it was nice for about 10 minutes. Then the humidity started creating a sheen of moisture on me, so I went back inside. It gave me enough time to decide to write a blog post.

If you’ve been reading here, you know that I recently quit my job. I decided that I would call myself “semi-retired” rather than “unemployed”. After all, I am of an age when many retire, and I do have that 401k, although if I tried to just live off of that, it wouldn’t last long. Anyway, I’m not unemployed. I am picking up some part-time hours doing medical reviews from home.

So, what’s been happening with me since I made the big decision? How does one adjust to not having the boundaries of a 40-hour-week job, after years of arranging the rest of one’s life around that box? It’s mostly mental, I think. (pun intended!)

Day to day life is great. Robert and I continue to find ourselves compatible and happy together, which is such an amazing blessing. I’ve started going to yoga class four times a week, and spend regular quality time with my grandchildren. I love getting to eat at home, preparing simple meals of grains and fresh organic vegetables from the farmer’s market.

Then there is the following of my passion, what I really care about. I am an Ayurvedic Practitioner, and have the intention of introducing those who want better health to a new way of living. (and being paid for it!) There are simple changes in lifestyle that can make a huge difference, that can help with stress, anxiety, digestive and weight issues, insomnia, and overall health management. But I find that I am a bit of a procrastinator, a little stuck. I know that I have something of value to offer, and it is just a matter of finding the clients who want to be committed to making positive changes.

So I decided to get some help to move me in the right direction, and am taking a course with Brian Whetten called Selling by Giving. The premise is that it can “transform the way I relate to my fears and inner doubts, and shift from judging them as problems to seeing that they are reliable course indicators showing me that I am heading in the right direction.”

And I’m not finished being a student. I am studying Ayurvedic Spiritual Counseling with New World Ayurveda. I’ve got skills and knowledge about how to make diet and lifestyle changes, but most people are resistant to change. So in this course, I’ll learn how to “help my clients understand what is truly at the root of their obstacles and have the inner transformational skills needed to permanently overcome those blocks.”  I need this for me, first, because I am as resistant to change as anyone I may try to help. Change always has to start with me!

Sounds like a lot when I put it on paper! And it is, but not too much. I’ve found time to paint, to take walks, to have wine with friends. In the midst of all these plans and possibilities, I remember that what matters most is this moment – am I being kind, compassionate, and loving to whomever is around me, and to myself?

Cars and twins

The week started with my car overheating on Monday. Again.

Well, actually, it started with a yoga class at 9 am Monday morning. It was wonderful. And I’ve gone to four yoga classes this week, and definitely feel more balanced.

But back to my car situation…

wp-1469367557487.pngI’ve been driving a 1997 Chrysler Sebring for the last 3 1/2 years. My father bought it brand new when he was around 70, but when he was 85 decided he needed something new so I was blessed to get the car at a time that I really needed it, and it has been good to me. It only had 52,000 miles on it when I got it. I’ve doubled the mileage on it, and I think its got a few more on it, but decided it was enough for me.

wp-1469283408635.jpgSo Tuesday I bought a 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback with only 10,000 miles on it. I had rented one the last time my car was in the shop, loved it, researched it, and when I found this one I knew it was mine. I had been saving money every month in lieu of a car payment, so was able to pay cash, which was a great feeling! Now I have a reliable car to drive across Houston to see my grandchildren.

And just in time, since  twin boys arrived on Wednesday! wp-1469283351766.png

And babies make three grandchildren for me, all in the Houston area, but an hour across town.  I met them on Thursday, and they are adorable. I will be spending some time with them and their parents next week as they settle in at home. Doing the Grandma thing!

Now what?

Friday was my last day doing the job I’ve been at for the last six years.

wp-1468765867052.pngPeople have been asking me what I am going to do. What comes out of my mouth first is “sit in the sun”.  I haven’t been doing much of that, so I am going to start today!

What else do I want to do? More yoga, for one. I’ve already been going to the yoga studio down the street, and plan to step it up from 1 or 2 times a week to 3 or 4. I’m considering a week long yoga retreat in Austin in October, and maybe even yoga teacher training.

I am going to write more, paint more, play more, relax more, dream more.

I am going to continue to open myself up to whatever is out there for me to do. I will go to social and networking events and have opportunities to talk about what I love. Perhaps some clients will arise from this.

I will update my resume and work on a new website.

I will connect more with my family, and welcome twin grandbabies into the world.

I’m going to re-open The Artist’s Way and see where it takes me.

I’ve looked back at some of what I wrote in the early days of this blog, two years ago, and am really amazed at the journey. Starting this blog and putting myself and my inner world “out there” was a huge step, and I have no doubt that because of continuing to allow myself to be vulnerable in this way I have become more willing to take chances and face fear.

Here I am, world!