Saturday, August 30, 2008

Being Brave: Post 16: Not Knowing

I am typing today's post not really knowing ahead of time what I want to blog about or how to do it in order to still share with you, yet protect confidentiality and privacy. I wish that I could write more about my ordeal. It is a time of healing right now for me, a time of forgiveness, and a time of learning new ways of living.

The hard part about this is that I don't know if we all are going to make it through together. I can just focus on myself; in fact I need to, or I won't make it through. I have a spiritual perspective and some fine support and I think I'm going to be okay. But I don't know if we all are.

I am healing. And I don't know what my life will be like in a few days, weeks, or months. It puts me in a situation where the only way I can survive psychologically is to live in the moment. Today. This is a good place to be, although scary---on and off---as I waver and almost...but not quite...fall.

As much as you can believe for yourself and have faith for yourself, you can't really do it for someone else, unfortunately. It is terrible to watch someone you care for make choices that could lead to loss and pain. To see them turn away from offered love and health and blessing and from your arms as shelter from the storm. To offer them the biggest and best things you could ever give them---to offer them your self and your heart---and to still have them question if you love them, or maybe even worse, if they love you.

It does feel good to feel though. And to do the absolute best you can. And to trust that God is always there, that the Universe is safe and good and will always take care of you. To trust that love is what is truly real. And to know that reality is what you will accept---not wishes, or dreams, or fantasies, but reality.

And to know you will be okay not matter what.

Chickens

Here is a video of our chickens eating. It is blissfully short (39 seconds) and dedicated to Kelly. It's actually kind of relaxing to watch!



~Video by LoveHubbie Mark by request

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thankful Tuesday


Today, I am thankful. Grateful. Blessed.

Chinook Salmon and Otters and Seal

Me and Rose Marie last week looking at the chinook salmon migration, a family of otters, and a large seal (3:37):

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: Mothering

This last week I was able to receive mothering from my good friend and hanaied (adopted) mother Rose Marie. I don't have a mother, and Rose Marie took time away from her daughter-in-law, who is living with cancer, and preparing to likely die soon, to be with me. It is a gift I will never, ever, forget.

I sorely needed it.

Sometimes we just can't stand on our own.

This week was like that for me.

Here are some of the happier scenes from our week. Despite the circumstances, it was a celebration of life. We stayed home pretty much the whole time and just enjoyed each other, the garden, good food, and being together. It was exactly what I needed (4:24):



The sheer joy of enjoying the simple things of life. A great comfort.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Meet My Friend, I'm On the Mend

I'm on the mend, and appreciate your comments, support, and love. I have received my copy of Life is a Verb, Patti, but haven't had a chance to start it yet. I can't wait. In the meantime, I have a supportive houseguest, my hanai mother Rose Marie from Phoenix. She is helping me out here so much. Here is a quick video (2:21):

Happiness at the happyluau


Well, yesterday's fun post was an automatic post I'd scheduled before my ordeal to be posted on my birthday! And I'd totally forgotten about it. I wrote it before I started living in my altered universe of seemingly surreal problems punctuated with spasms of difficult emotions and peppered with moments and even long periods of trust and joy in the goodness and provision of the Universe. It was back when the happyluau was a happier place. I was kind of shocked, then I thought, "Well, good...it's about time there was some fun at the happyluau!"

Lately I've felt as though I need to hold my grief out in front of me, and that having fun is ceasing to honor that grief, trivializing what is happening to me and my loved ones as something unimportant. But that is so not true (I'm speaking to myself and not just to you here). It's okay to have fun. It's good, it's important, and healing. So I'm glad that a fun post came up automatically, and on my birthday as well.

Well, I'm going to try to make a video soon because my hands are already shot with this typing. Thank you my wonderful friends, for all of your support and love. You are in my thoughts and heart, as always, even though my blog presence has been very light lately.

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark, a field in Kula, Maui from 2007

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Some Pictures for You

I have several pictures that I've been collecting for certain people, and I'm going to post them here. However I think that everyone will enjoy them. Some of these I've been saving for a LONG time! Some not so long :)

For Lori-Lyn from Amazon Daily:


For Chani about how I dress when I look like me (photo by LoveHubbie Mark in Hawaii):



For Kelly from Cute Overload:



For Rick from Cute Overload:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: 1 Cor 13 In the Garden

Still having typing trouble, sending many thanks and love for all the love YOU are sending me via your comments on the last post, and your emails. Here is a video instead of writing for today, SLS. I am wishing you a wonderful and sacred Sunday. It is 9:15 long:



~Movie by LoveHubbie Mark and Music by Kevin MacLeod, edited and assembled by ME

Friday, August 15, 2008

BE BRAVE: Post 15: Being Bravery

I am having trouble typing, so I'm talking today in answer to your comments from my last post My Friends Held Me Up. It is 8 minutes long:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

BE BRAVE: Post 14: Wellness Wednesday: My Friends Held Me Up


Thank you, my wonderful friends.
Thank you to each one of you who were in my corner.
Who sent your thoughts, prayers, love, light, and support my way,
Who counseled me to trust the process.
Who told me to say "I'm safe in the arms of love" and to envision myself wrapped and held in angel wings...Yes, I met my angels!
Who told me to breathe.
Who were thinking of me these last days,
Who told me they hoped I was alright and would see some good days soon,
That all things would pass,
To batten down the hatches, tie myself to the wheel, and ride it out.
That surrender was the only way.
Who told me I was strong, and I could do it,
To hang in there and swim through.
Who sent puppy kisses, buckets of love, and hugs,
Who told me I'd come through this stronger than ever,
And to focus on the next five minutes.
To hang in there.
To continue to be brave.

I appreciate you all. I haven't been reading your blogs, but will be soon. Instead, I was hunkering down in and drawing strength via your comments, prayer---I now have a vibrant prayer life, which is a first---and I even stepped out and called two of you, which for me is a BE BRAVE step, but one that yielded great fruit for me.

I wish I could tell you what happened, but I know you will understand since it involves others, not just me, but me too in a big way. It comes off as being mysterious, and I'm sorry about that. I could have ignored it and tried to blog around it, but it is my life right now, everything is changing, I'm in the middle of BE BRAVE, and besides, I needed you. I have been in the Land of Surrender where I have been stepping slowly and taking good care of myself so that I can be clear-headed and calm to make decisions.

It's Wellness Wednesday, and I am well.

As many of you know, during trauma and grief it is sometimes weird to do "normal" things. Today was the first day I had lots of time for "normal" things. It was the first day I didn't feel like I was putting on a huge acting show using all my strength and will when I needed to pretend as though everything was fine (like with the pest man and the post office clerk). It still feels a little odd to do normal things, but it's getting easier.

I am grateful that I was in the middle of BE BRAVE for this. And that I have some bravery muscles and bravery skills. Gosh, this process prepares you for life! I'm not going to even attempt to detail BE BRAVE actions as they were innumerable and consistent, plus I don't want to relive the last five days for anything.

I was even more grateful to feel the support of you all behind me, telling me that I could absolutely do this.

I met angels, indeed. And I found family, real family (which I have no experience with in real life)---as in people who are there for you and would give you the shirt off their back---in unexpected places.

This will be a part of my life for at least several months, so I may refer to it. It is a great relief to have a place to continue to share my feelings and experiences and ideas and life lessons in an authentic way, even if I can't "lay it all on you" :) Thank you for being there.

Much love,

O

~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark

Sunday, August 10, 2008

BE BRAVE: Post 13: Surrender On Sacred Life Sunday


Sometimes there are things that happen that are so hard that all we can do is surrender. That is what happened to me this weekend. I am working on carrying on, and my challenge is to hold steady a brave core inside and to remain calm, stable, and trusting in the Universe to take care of me and of those I love.

Friday, August 8, 2008

BE BRAVE: Post 12: Moving Out of Inertia


Since I started with my Big List on Sunday, I’ve accomplished several things that required bravery. Some of these were on my Big List, and some just came up and were not. But I found that just having the list and defining things based upon the type of emotion and importance that went with them helped me to do other things not listed too. Some of these may seem mundane, but I list them so that you can see that they are a great deal beyond my usual BE BRAVE challenges of getting dressed, getting the mail, being around people, etc.

I am also thinking that the TrueHope vitamin supplements I’m taking may be kicking in as well. I don't think I'd be accomplishing so much if I was feeling like I was in the beginning of the summer. In fact, doing the Big List made me realize how much stuff I was not doing (which you would kind of assume since I was having trouble with basic daily life skills); I hadn't realized just how much I'd let go.

PESTS: Called the pest man to handle our severe mouse infestation. Set up a time and had him visit (this is relatively stressful for me since I have been so withdrawn lately). Came up with a plan to get rid of mice. Scheduled the work to be done. I had been procrastinating about this and just cleaning up the mouse poo and having LoveHubbie catch them with humane mouse traps. Not a good solution though, as it was ineffective. The pest man deals with these things better.

MONEY: Talked to my chiropractor about a bill that I thought was way too high (he came after me for what the insurance didn’t pay, which was a lot, and the per visit charge was astronomic), came up with a plan of how to handle chiropractic visits in the future, including limiting them. Confrontations with people I feel as though I’m dependent on are difficult for me, although normal confrontations aren’t.

BOUNDARY: Set a boundary and held to it, despite guilting from the party dealing with the consequences. I set some other boundaries and didn’t keep them but I’m making progress.

PAID WORK: Spent time working with problems that suddenly came up in LoveHubbie’s office, including a tense meeting with an employee. This was especially stressful because I don’t like the environment there (too hectic, tense and chaotic) and it takes me on-site and away from home.

DRESS: Dressed in a snazzy way for three days in a row, because one of the items on my Big List is : “Be proud of being big and of taking up space with my beauty.” That’s even hard to write but I’m working on believing it.

ASSERTIVENESS: Was blamed for something relatively small in public by someone and stood up for myself, although it would have been easier to just overlook it. The person was trying to avoid responsibility, and wanted to look better by blaming the problem on me. I gave them the responsibility right back, which ended the matter. Later I asked for an apology and received it.

DECLUTTERING: Took on piles and piles of paperwork and stacks of ignored items that have been piling up for several months due to depression. All are now organized on The Big List. Many have been discarded. The important ones will be accomplished or tossed.

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION: I began spiritual direction this week, definitely a BE BRAVE activity. I am ambivalent about it at this point, and I’m not certain I’m comfortable with it for the long term. However, it is a relief and a joy to talk to someone about my spiritual life. It’s hard to fit the amount of information I want to share into a 50 minute session, so I need to be patient. My spiritual director wants me to sit outside on my deck and breathe in and out saying a mantra; this fits my needs well, but is definitely another BE BRAVE action, even though it is so simple. It’s hard for me to sit still without a book or audio or someone there to talk to. Hard, but good, I’m thinking. Probably just what I need.





~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Foggy Morning in the Pacific Northwest

This little video is 1:15 long. I took it a few days ago when we had some unexpected morning fog. I felt like I was in a fairyland:

BE BRAVE: Day 10: Not Always Following the Rules

Kate is back from her vacation and she gave me a lovely award, the BFF Gold Card, in which BFF standing for Blogging Friends Forever. You will be my blogging friend forever, too, Kate ! I'm going to break the rules and accept it just with lots and lots of love and gratitude instead of following the rules, which is my special BE BRAVE action for today.

I do love getting awards and appreciate them so much, but sometimes (like today for some reason) I dislike including people to have the award and excluding others, and never have had the courage to (even one time) abstain. So I'm going to give it a try :)

I have been accumulating other BE BRAVE actions from this busy week and will feature them all soon in a post.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nice Guests, Learned A Lot

LoveHubbie's family members, D & J, were such nice guests and we had a good time. Everything with the house and me was fine and of course no one cared how either looked! What was particularly significant about this visit was that both my husband and his brother have had serious health issues in the past few years, as well as some family misunderstandings, so it was a time of healing, and a time of knowing that they don't have forever to be with each other or to work things out. It was wonderful, intense, and I learned something very important.

What I learned had nothing to do with my lovely guests but all with me. I am always anxious that everyone feel comfortable and have interaction and a good time, so I minimize or eliminate time for the things that I need that are very anti-social (reading, quiet time, silence, internet, blogging, contemplative walking, sleep, thinking, processing) or, in the words of Karen in a comment here, "I'm not consciously choosing actions that will let me be me." This is due to my consciously choosing things that involve being hospitable to other people and entertaining them, but in the process I feel like I lose myself...even in just 4 days. I would never have believed that my identity was so fragile and tenuous, but apparently it is. When I put myself into enjoyable situations of interaction that go on for days I suffer, and I end up losing my way. Many people (like our guests) thrive on this, and even gain energy and well being from it, but I'm not one of those people.

I wonder if this is age or depression or if it's just my personality. I know that in the future I need to do things differently, but I really don't know how. At the time I feel as though I want to be with my company, especially since it could be years until I see them again; or as we advance in age, I may never see them again. I thought I'd be more resilient. But I guess I just have to accept that this time I was not.

LoveHubbie wasn't resilient either, though, and he is a real extrovert. He is still making up for lost sleep he volunteered to skip in order to have an enjoyable time. His health is rather precarious, so it is not a minor thing when he does this.

A good friend of mine is coming to visit in mid-August, but she is older, and I can keep my various appointments, keep my life going, and she will probably rest, read, enjoy the garden, and not want to be on the go or sightseeing and eating formal meals all the time. With her it might be easier to practice consciously choosing things that help me be me---but these are things she likes to do too---so I will still be being hospitable.

We live. We learn. We change.

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: The Big List

Today I was inspired by Jessie's list for ideas for BE BRAVE, a list in which she answered the question she asked herself: "What acts of bravery would I like to accomplish in the coming days and weeks?" I thought that by making a list of things that I'd want to do, a "BE BRAVE List", no holds barred, I might have a better chance of actually making them happen.

At the same time, I was inspired by Patti Digh's recently asking the question to her blog readers: "What would you do if you had only 37 days to live?" I wondered how many of the BE BRAVE actions would be on a "37 Days List" and vice-versa.

I also have been noticing that on my To Do List (which I call a Could Do List in a futile attempt to make me feel as though I really don't have to do these things...I know I don't...but I sort of do...see my ambivalence!) there are many actions that have languished there for a long, long time. So I thought that I'd also list my Could Do actions, and in particular note the ones there that I really don't like the process of doing, although I want or need the result of having accomplished them. I wondered if any of these actions on my "Could Do List" would be also listed as a BE BRAVE action, or if I'd care about any of them if I had only 37 Days to live!

I saw the potential for learning a lot about the tasks, myself, and what I wanted by doing this. The Big List, as I call it, is dynamic, and I'll update it regularly as I complete tasks. It will help me achieve my goals of doing things I want to that are brave, meaningful, and help me to better live the type of life I want to live.


For this entire process I didn't censor myself at all, just wrote as I was inspired. I left the lists raw and uncensored as I combined them into The Big List. It sounds like a lot of lists and a big mess, but it really is a neat little list with three columns that works really well. Notice that I did age the view of the list just because some of the actions are ultra personal or involve other people, etc. Note that I mispronounced Patti Digh's last name in the video; it actually is pronounced "dye"---thank you, Rick! The video is 2:43 long:





So The Big List, three lists combined, is more than either of the lists alone. It's way more than a souped-up To Do List. Each action can be evaluated based on whether or not it takes bravery, and whether or not it is something that I'll care about if I am aware that my time here is severely limited. It is then listed in one, two, or all three columns. It is by doing this, and by keeping the process dynamic, that I'll learn how to be braver doing things that matter to me.

It was the perfect meditative task for a Sacred Life Sunday!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Catching Up in Blogland

Well, I'm guest-less at home again, and returning (YIPPEE!) to blogland. Thank you for all of your comments on my last post about a hard question. If you haven't read the comments, please do, because so many additional ideas and questions were generated, and you might find new ideas to write about for your blog too.

I am SO not caught up on reading everyone's blog. This "catch up" time is a necessary part of being a part of Blogland, and I have a love/hate relationship with it. On the one hand, I love reading everyone's blog and hearing about what has happened in your thoughts and lives since I've been gone. On the other hand, I feel like I MISSED SO MUCH since I was gone and hate that I was "out of the loop". It was for less than a week, but so much happens...

I feel like I stepped out of my "real life" to a virtual reality that I participated in. Really, you all seem more real to me than family members that I don't know on an intimate basis who I haven't seen for almost a decade, which I guess is natural. But it's strange. You'd think it would be the other way around. Intimacy is certainly an interesting thing.

So I'm back. I'll be catching up by reading every single one of your blog posts, and totally enjoying getting caught up on your lives...I know not everyone does it this way, but it's the way I like to do it. I would feel like I really missed out if I didn't.

I'll be blogging about BE BRAVE soon too.

It is so good to be back. Just so you know.




~Picture by LoveHubbie Mark