I attended service at the spiritual center to which I belong this morning. Then we celebrated my sister’s 31st birthday with lunch at a Mexican restaurant. I then spent some time with my two oldest children, their spouses, and my granddaughter. Beyond that, I have been writing the better part of the day, either in my head or on the keyboard. So this is the extent of my post today: Happy Birthday, Suzanne!
(Incidentally, I am inspired to write about my family and how we celebrate every chance we get… and how I learned that my grandfather was always hoping someone would marry so there would be a party and he could dance… but I’m too tired… perhaps later this week.) The photo is completely unrelated, but I thought it would complement my sister’s birthday wish. Suzanne, I hope you got some rest this cloudy afternoon.
I just spent a significant amount of time drafting a post about an incident that occurred yesterday. I had been reading another blogger’s tips and was inspired to write this post rather than “saving it for later.” Because I had forgotten to create a password for the two-step authentication security setting on my WordPress app on my phone, I hit “save draft,” and “poof!” it was gone. I tried hitting the back arrow and hoped it would have saved the draft somewhere. No such luck. Well, it is nearly 11:00 PM on Easter Sunday. I have iPhoneography tomorrow (3rd Monday of the month is black-and-white… my favorite), so I will not be rewriting the post until Tuesday. In the meantime I will be working on the two-step authentication issue. Aaarrrggghhh!!!
Those of you who read my blog on a regular basis will notice the drastic change in my theme. As part of the current blog challenge in which I am participating, I was encouraged to change my blog’s look.
My favorite color (or non-color, I should say) is black. Most of my wardrobe is black (including my motorcycle gear). Whenever I am given a choice of colors in anything, I choose black. It is introspective, sleek, and classic. So for me to go from a mostly black blog to this bright, somewhat color-spattered theme is somewhat unsettling.
However, in the spirit of personal growth, I am going to leave this new theme in place for a few days to see if I can get used to it. If not, I can always go back to what is safe. Just out of curiosity, let me know what you think of the new look.
I guess I am catching up from an emotional weekend, as I scraped myself out of bed at 10:00 this morning. I managed to get caught up on some email and sort of cook dinner (tuna salad sandwiches and soup). I helped my son with homework and here I am, at the end of the day, keeping my blogging commitment. I still haven’t completely unpacked my suitcase, but I hope to get it done before bed. Oh, and I need to take a shower… if I want to sleep in bed tonight.
Incidentally, I am taking part in a blogging challenge (which began today) to continue growing and improving my blog. I said I was not going to share my goals publicly, but I am going to be getting those goals written down for myself tonight. So you will hopefully notice some improvements in the next couple of weeks. For tonight, I am simply keeping my commitment to write.
I have been reading a book that explores, among other things, the concept of time. Incidentally, I am also preparing to embark on a journey that I know will distort time. My mother and I will be traveling to Colorado to attend her father’s memorial service.
Something I have noticed is that death seems to slow time for those who suffer loss. Maybe it’s because we become more aware in the days following the death of a loved one, and maybe it’s because we simply slow down. Either way, I have noticed that the time immediately following a loss or tragedy seems to become a precious capsule to be cherished.
I remember the time surrounding a life threatening surgery my Dad underwent several years ago. The trip to Florida, the night preceding the surgery, and the moments just before he was wheeled into surgery (in particular) are etched into my brain. The weeks, days, and months just before my father’s death are even more clear in my mind. And I suspect this weekend will become burned into my memory just as clearly.
I was not close to my grandfather, but my relationship with my mother will make this weekend one of those time-bent weekends. We will be spending hours in airports and on an airplane together. Then we will spend a weekend focused on the life and death of the primary man in my mother’s life. Time will slow and, at times, stand still.
I know these moments frozen in time will become a pat of our life stories. So I am ready. I am ready to take in the stories, feel the agony of loss and the joy of reminiscence, and enjoy the time with my mother. And I am grateful that time bends to make these times stand out in our memories.
Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo (even at the age of 87) were said to have used the phrase “ancora imparo” often. The Italian phrase means “I am still learning.” When I think of such remarkable men, I consider myself in good company, as I too am still learning.
At the age of 34, I earned a bachelor’s degree. At 43, I sang at an open mic night for the first time (at the Bluebird Cafe). At 45, I learned how to ride a motorcycle, I became a certified Zumba instructor, and I began blogging. At 48, I ran my first 5K. I’ve learned lots of things before and since, but I am happy to say that the older I get, the more eager I am to learn new things.
I think when we quit learning, we begin stagnating and dying. And I find myself wondering, “What will I be learning when I am 87?”
I am just getting around to my post today, and it is 11:21 P.M. I don’t like putting things off until the last minute, but I am getting it done nonetheless. I have not been able to get myself back into a routine, so I am flying by the seat of my pants most of the time. This is very disconcerting for someone who used to be up at 4:00 A.M. so I could exercise for an hour and meditate before work. Now I am lucky if I get both of these done on any given day.
The important thing today is that I kept my commitment to write.
I’ve tried to keep my blog posts as positive as I possibly can since my accident back in November. Unfortunately, the denial of my own fears and anxieties has only allowed them to incubate. So it is likely I will posting some more transparent posts, at least for the next week. I have been tasked with recording what I am actually thinking and feeling. While I won’t do all of that here, I will be processing those thoughts and feelings so they will likely come out in my writing.
Part of the reason I blog in the first place is because it is therapeutic. I respect and admire other bloggers who bare their souls on the page. I feel their brutal honesty is as helpful to others as it is for themselves. So as I embark on my journey into the belly of the beast, I am reminded of a couple of bloggers whose writings have been helpful to me.
When I first came back to blogging, I stumbled across SchizoIncognito.com. The tagline, “the incoherent ramblings of a mentally ill writer and blogger” is witty. I assure you the blogger who refers to himself as “the Schizo” does anything but incoherently ramble. He is open, honest, and gives voice to those, like himself, who struggle with mental illness. He gives me the courage to say out loud that I am a person who struggles with anxiety and Acute Stress Disorder, and who is facing a possible Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis.
More recently, I happened upon teddylee’sblog. Teddy talks openly about abuse and it’s effects. He openly processes his childhood out in blogosphere, for the whole world to read. He speaks plainly and truthfully. I cannot help but admire his bravery. In spite of his childhood experiences, and seemingly rough exterior, he has a sweet spirit that comes through in his writing. He gives me hope that I can let go of past experiences that haunt me. He also reminds me that those past experiences have helped shape who I have become… and I am okay with that (I actually like who I am now).
So this week, as I begin to record those thoughts and feelings that I would much prefer to avoid, please forgive me in advance if some of it oozes out onto my blog. Better yet, I hope someone out there will find it beneficial, just as I have found the two blogs mentioned here to be.
As a result of writing daily, I have come to the conclusion that it is time to start that book. (I actually have a few partially written books in my head, so I just need to get them “on paper” and completed.) My daily posts aren’t enough to satisfy my writing addiction anymore. So today’s post is brief, so I can begin working on my outline. [There! I said it. Now I have to do it.]