Breathing

I had a whole other blog post half-written, but when I came back to it, none of the bipolar drama mattered any more.

There was a theme of WANTING this summer, but we all know wanting comes from believing there is a hole in our soul that needs filling.  The cure for wanting isn’t changing our bodies or our location, it isn’t filling that hole with stuff or people.  The cure for wanting is to sit with it, cup it gently in our own two hands, breathe it in and out.  Then, we remember we are whole where and when we are.

I’ve been thinking about turning 60 in a couple of months.  I don’t usually pay attention to birthdays, but this is kind of a milestone for me.  See, I never expected to live to see 60.  In the back of my mind, far from consciousness, I think I was marking time until I made a decision to exit this world.  Turning 60 means I’ve made a different kind of decision.

At first I didn’t think I’d created much of a life—it certainly didn’t look like the life I imagined for myself when I was a girl.  But when one of my mental health gurus said, “I’ve always thought you were good at living,” I reconsidered.

My sister’s husband died three weeks ago after a long illness.  She had been preparing for that eventuality—buying a home in Oklahoma where her son and his family live, clearing out sheds and closets—but the last six months of constant caregiving along with Hospice drained her life energy.

I supported her the best I could.  When the time came, I stood beside her as her husband died and when some of his family members got ugly.  I stood at the graveside with one arm around my tall, cowboy nephew, and the other around his little son, and I felt alive with love for my family. Last week, my sis and I packed our vehicles with the last of her things and caravanned to her new permanent home.

Yesterday I returned to my home of geriatric (and complaining) cats, art projects in progress, the last week of water walking at the Aquatic Center before it closes for the season, watching the addictive drama of Big Brother with my friends, coffee and movies and lunches with other friends, meeting the interim minister at church and volunteering to lead a SoulMatters group.

I think it’s time to give up my hair shirt.  It’s time to embrace the good life I’ve created and allow forgiveness to become part of it.  Today, all I want is to be content, to be grateful.

Breathing in, I choose the Adventure.

♥ ♥ ♥

P.S. Happy Birthday, Richard.

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Delicates

handmade greeting card, collage artI was talking with a friend yesterday when suddenly I realized I was back.  Back in my right mind.

It’s such an odd feeling, sort of like taking off panty hose.  There can be lots of false starts to getting that waistband unrolled, but eventually the freedom and relief become real. And looking at that stretched-out puddle of spandex on the floor, it seems completely alien and counter to anything a person might actually wear.

I looked at my rants with my therapist and the thoughts that tortured me over the past couple of weeks as a weird jumble of hosiery that couldn’t possibly fit me.  But, there was no denying my butt-print there.   So I found a certain amount of tenderness in washing them out in the sink.

I’ll have to play dress-up again, become someone squeezed out of right mind.  And whether I want to or not, the sausage casing will find its way back on me.  Better to take care of the over-extended fabric.  Better to treat all those delusions and frantic scramblings for relief with a little Woolite and warm water.  And forgiveness.

There’s a reason they’re called delicates.

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