Picture taken by my friend Cyndi Leos....thank you Cyndi.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Whirlwind of Thoughts In My Quest For Balance...

I admit, I have been hiding behind the positive quotes.  I am in a whirlwind of thoughts, unsure of what is to come, allowing it to get the better of me... As my Mom used to tell me, "If you can't say anything positive, don't say anything at all"....

I am feeling much better, health wise.  My cough is diminishing, nasal passages clear. I am in the midst of changing life patterns and I don't know which direction I am headed.  It is a time of resistance and growth. Maybe it is why I got sick...  I need to get outside in the sunshine.... I intend to take Izzy, my dog for a walk, but first I am waiting for my sister to call.  She is visiting our Father in the hospital during her lunch hour.

Dad was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday, due to low blood pressure.  I write about my Dad, who has Alzheimer's and lives in a nursing home, on my other blog, here.

I don't make new year resolutions any more...but generally, around February, I get restless, distracted, discontented.  It is my time of metamorphosis, when I attempt to shed patterns which no longer work, and make myself open for what is to come...  I tweak, poke, analyse and readjust my life until I feel I have found my new path..

I realized I was eating my discontent and fears.  The sleep study and subsequent diagnosis of sleep apnea caught me by surprise and helped me click into a place where I can understand why I was being self destructive and finally wanted to change and lose the weight.  I have lost almost ten pounds and I feel really good about it.

The purge of "stuff" always precedes an awakening, lighting my new path for my new direction...

I read Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book, GIFTS OF THE SEA every February.  Been doing it for years.  If you haven't read her book, do yourself a favor and read it.  I have two copies.  One is literally falling apart, but I will not part with it.  It is an old, faithful, friend...  My first copy.

When I was raising my daughters alone, her book was my compass.  She gave me such hope and kept me on course.  My girls were my main focus, yet I longed for my own time to write and paint... so now, I find myself in that very time and space I longed for....wiggling myself into that realization, has not been as easy as it seems...

Lindbergh writes: "For to be a woman is to have interests and duties, raying out in all directions from the central mother-core, like spokes from the hub of a wheel.  The pattern of our lives is essentially circular.  We must be open to all points of the compass; husband, children, friends, home, community; stretched out, exposed, sensitive like a spider's web to each breeze that blows, to each call that comes." 

The hub of my life is in conflict. That old hub has been replaced and it still doesn't feel right. Despite my mother-core attempting to re-adjust, I ask myself, why do I struggle to accept the fact my daughters are fully grown? They are both strong, capable, independent women with children of their own.  Why can't I relish having succeeded in accomplishing such an important life time goal?

Why do I lurk in the shadows of my life? Fearing the unknown yet wanting something new and exciting?  Why do I cling to the familiar? Why can't I trust my girls are fine and in control of their lives?  They do know what they are doing.  If they need me, they can let me know...

Why do I hold myself back? Is it because once I let go of it, I must select a new life challenge? A new quest, answering the whisper of my destiny... full filling my life's purpose? Isn't finding my purpose my reason for living?

Choosing to focus on my creative endeavors is not giving up on being a mother and grandmother.  In seeking out my quests for balance, I continue to be an example.  The hurdles we face in life are meant to make us stronger... right?

I am enlightened enough to know all the answers I seek are within me, just waiting to be realized and implemented...

There is still guilt.  (Ridiculous after all this time...)  I still have a difficult time giving myself permission to sit back, relax, and do what I want to do...because for so long, I did what I had to do, for the three of us to survive.  When someone needs my help, I am body, mind and spirit. Yet, asking myself, "What do you want Donna?" (if I am honest) has always been such a challenge for me. (I hate admitting that..).but I do strive, to find a real balance within my life, instead of walking a tight rope of anxiety.

Lindbergh illustrates my point further when she wrote, "..The problem is not merely one of Woman and Career, Woman and the Home, Woman and Independence.  It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel."

Possibly, I am using this separation of motherhood into person hood, as a crutch. Or is it even possible to be the mother I want to be and still be a person who can create on my own terms?  Maybe I never fully managed to become a complete person with balance while raising my children..."fake it til' you make it", "feel the fear and do it any way."  (My tried and new mantras...)

What IS this invisible shield in front of me... too often blocking me from doing what I believe I want to do?  If finances prevent me from again living closer to my girls and grand kids, then why can't I accept it and move forward?  Why do I feel stuck in the mud so much of the time? Why do I feel so conflicted? I really want to face this full on and look within for the answers...

Some times I want to blame my husband...yet it was both of us who made the decision to move here.  Neither of us knew the economy would tank like it has... "I take myself with me where ever I go." "I can run, but I can't hide." 

If I were to give advice to a friend, and the friend is me,  I would advise to stay calm, stay focused.  Remember inner peace and be true to myself.  To read and explore until the light of my path is exposed.  To trust myself and know I can achieve anything, if I just keep at it with my whole heart and soul.  I know this is true, because I did a lot of impossible things in my quest and determination to raise my girls...

"Life is not a destination, it is a journey." 

I believe the balance will come...


Thisisme. said...

Gosh Donna, that is a long post with so many thoughts. I don't quite know where to start. Firstly, those quotes about women by Lindbergh are amazing. I liked the way you wrote your thoughts down about what you do in February! It is such a shame that you don't live closer to your daughters and grandchildren, and, seeing my two youngest ones so often, I realize how very blessed I am in that. You sound like a strong woman to me, and as you say, you should be proud that your daughters are happy and standing on their own two feet with their own families. Hopefully by walking in the sunshine, it might clear your head a bit. Well done you for losing that weight by the way. I do know exactly what you mean though in some of the things that you say. Quite often, I was so busy looking after everyone else, and I would think, but "what about me". This is my life as well. Keep positive. In quietness and trust is your strength.

Wanda..... said...

Donna...I have just read the most soul touching express feelings I have felt at different times, as my life changed with the growth of children, new possibilities, life questions and aging. "Gifts From The Sea" is a special book for me too...I suggested it a few years ago to a friend in the UK and it truly changed her life. I believe balance comes at different stages of our lives, as we age we just need new balances...each person is different in what they need or seek, but a balance is there for the making. I too think positive and trust, I wouldn't have it any other way. Be silent and yourself especially. "Silent and Listen" are two of my favorite words, I have them on my blog's side bar...they share the same letters.

Loved your best wishes for your dad.

DJan said...

Thanks for this amazingly insightful post, Donna. I wondered how you are actually doing behind all the quotes; now I know, and it's where most of us women and mothers spend a great deal of our time. Wondering who we are when the spokes of our lives move and change. Reexamination is good for the soul, and my sister lives by Lindbergh's book. I have read it several times and think it's time for another read.

Congratulations on losing the weight. The direction of being in the losing mode rather than gaining is where I am right now, and soon I will be able to see some changes. But not yet.

Best wishes on your dad's situation. I also loved your post and appreciate the time it took to get this all down on "paper."

Kass said...

How nice that we share this love of a great book. Now I feel I need to read the whole thing again.

If balance really does come at last, will we be bored? I know I'm a bit of a drama queen so it makes it hard to settle into that inner equalibrium.

Chatty Crone said...

I love that book - and I have read it and read it many times. She was an amazing woman.

You sound like you have so many emotions going on at the same time. Going from one thing to another.

Your father is sick, your moved away from your family, your husband just retired, your sick, and you have sleep issues - your whole world was shaken up - like a glass globe - and now the dust is settling.

Breathe deep - listen to your instincts - and give yourself a hug!


gayle said...

I have never hear of this book but will try to find it. It sounds very good!

You have express a lot of what I feel. I have a very hard time relaxing. Even when I do, like now, I feel like I should be up doing work.

Congrats on the weight loss! That's awesome!

Cmom said...

Donna...I so love your words and your ability to speak from not just your heart....but your soul. You are able to put words to feelings that many only dream of being able to do. My advice to you is....go back and read your own words with fresh eyes. Read them as if for the first time and then take them to heart, because I believe your answers are in your own just have to realize that.
Truly beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing.

Donna B said...

Thisisme: Thank you so much for listening and hearing me... I really debated myself whether I would post such personal feelings, but like DJan has done so often on her blog, Eye On The Edge, it really is cathartic and promotes inner growth.

Wanda: Bless you. You are so very kind. I really appreiciate the reward of compassion when I risk exposing my fears and foibles.
Thank you.

I still have a ways to go in losing weight, but I feel I "get it" and am on the right path.

I appreciate friends like all of you women, who share their inner most secrets, fears, and sacred thoughts. It is such an honor to be invited into each of your lives. As we share, we learn. We are ALL in this life together.

Kass: The fact all of you are familiar with Lindbergh's book, reassures me I am in the right place with all of you wonderful women. There is such a power in woman who seek answers and explore to seek their place in life. The path to enlightment and peace, our search for balance, doubtfully, will ever be boring. "Life is a journey, not a destination". Thank you so much Kass.

Chatty (Sandie): It feels good to share my indecision, emotions and issues. Talking about it demystifies it. We open ourselves to learn from one another. If we open ourselves, the answers and the teachers will come. Thank you so much for your friendship.

Gayle: Thank you. You are in for such a treat when you find this book. I look forward to talking with you after you read it. Your friendship means so much to me.

Cmom: Thank you so much. You made me cry. I have learned so much from blogging. I hesitated for so long before putting myself "out there"...but if we have nothing to hide, and an open heart, there is so much to learn and share amongst all my wonderful blogging friends. I will re-read my post with fresh eyes...but I do know I have the answers, it is just believing in myself and trusting myself to make it happen. Thank you so much again for hearing and relating with me.

DJan: You really have gotten to know the inner me...I knew exactly what you meant when you encouraged me to write about me instead of the quotes... I was hiding.