The Mother-In-Law Challenge: The Badger, The Bear, and the Swan

Turmoil. Trials and tribulations. What’s the remedy for a saturation of negativity? I would say spiritual healing. Ladies and gents, at their fundamental level all religions have good intent but when I say spiritual healing I don’t mean head to church. I mean doing what revives the spirit. Prayer, talking to your spirit guide or angels, surrounding yourself with good positive company, meditation, yoga, a walk… Whatever or a combo of all. It’s personal.

Me – I was gravitationally drawn to one of those card reading, crystal-selling shops one day while walking through town. I stepped in, curious. I hesitated at first because what can anyone tell me that I don’t already know? 😉 And what’s the odds someone would be available to see me? There was a Native American lady sitting off in a side room. Appointment just over. She was ready to issue some healing.

No such thing as coincidences.

We chatted for a bit and I explained that I’m scattered, disoriented, can’t find my way anymore. And hey, card readings are good entertainment, so maybe she can do one of those along with her suggestion of energy work. (Dear Pam, my friend, I don’t believe yoga and card readings open up a portal to the devil, but I’m willing not to exclude the unlikely possibility.)

We start the reading with animal totems and I’m asked to draw a card with my left hand. I pull the bear and it’s all about retreating to the cave, moving west to south, and concentrating on creativity and dreams, regrouping and finding one’s self in one’s inner resources. Navajo lady is not a psychic. She wants to know my situation, why my energy has been smashed in like I was in a car accident. I give her a brief rundown. Culture shock, MIL difficulties. She asks me to draw a card on my Mother-In-Law. Really? OK. How I nearly cackled (yes, cackled) when the card was turned over! The Badger. Claws digging into the ground, always searching for reasons, delving deep into the past for explanations, tearing at roots, dis-rooting. This kind of person will scratch you to death trying to get what they want. They bring up the past often. Heard of the term, “badgering”? Thought so.

The husband, a swan, gliding with grace through the mess, a person who sees the beauty in all, living in harmony with water, with earth, with air. Negotiating turbulence with elegance and inner strength. Funny. On the drive to town I told him that he is the best of his entire family for being the only truly kind, compassionate and understanding amongst them. How did he turn out so different? The earth, the great recycler, turns shit into soil to grow roses.

There is no such thing as coincidence.

A tree meditation (really kinda cool) and then an interesting experience of cleansing energy… It’s hard to describe but the feeling is tangible having your aura swept clean of negative energies and injected with positivity. Sort of tingly. I felt lighter. Navajo lady reminds me that love and inner beauty is the cure. Anger and hatred only hurts one’s self. Let your spirit guides handle the BS. But like the kitchen floor during meal preps, an aura gets dirty quickly if you’re not careful. Boundaries need to be set. Balance in relationships, says the stag. Or else this bear will retreat to a cave and come out to a new world in spring.

And maybe step on a badger along the way.

Damn it! Love and beauty, love and beauty…remember…love and beauty!

Navajo Poem here.

Do Women Have Midlife Crises Like Men?

I’ve been out of touch for the last week with my blogging goal and have even been ignoring checking in on my most kind followers and other blogs I like. It must be the season. But wait, this is the social season full of good will…

Frankly, I’m bored. Not with all of you in the blogosphere! Thank goodness for smart people sharing their ideas, stories, travels, and perceptions. Thank you! But I’m bored and tired in general. I’m hibernating.

Now I’ll be the first one to say that happiness is generated within and only YOU are responsible for your happiness. But I do find myself susceptible to the negativity that bombards me. (See posts on the MIL if you want to know why!) It’s a motivation killer. It lays like a sludge on the soul. It’s a leech.

But I am a person accustomed to a different lifestyle than I am living now. It was one of travel and new experiences! It was seeking cultural events to be involved in, witnessing living history, learning a skill that’s otherwise dead in the modern world, trying new foods (I highly recommend cooking holidays if you like eating!), and just appreciating landscapes, architecture, and people different than me.

Life is about these sort of adventures! But here comes the mundane, the average and ordinary, creeping like a cold cloud heavy with sleet over the mountain of my shoulders. I’m in America now and I don’t mean to be insulting to my neighbors but they are…small. A world outside of their doorstep doesn’t exist. They have opinions about people and cultures they’ve never ventured to experience. They believe they deserve special treatment. Somehow they’ve earned the right by virtue of being born to be superior to others. And money…it generates either feelings of jealousy or entitlement. These people ask what you’ve been up to and then think you’re bragging when you tell of that hike in Nepal. Or they try to one-up you. These are the people who are more comfortable if you’re more like them and fall into downtrodden conversation, concentrating on how “hard” and unfair life is. (Uh oh, isn’t that what this post is doing?) This, from people who haven’t experienced “hard”. These people rejoice in others failure and create drama for lack of better things to do. This is a strange place.

Perhaps I am spoiled. When I ask my husband, where’s our next vacation? And he suggests a trip to the ski resort a couple hours away, I’m bored. When I suggest we go out and do something fun and he says we don’t even need to leave the area – we could go on a walk, I’m bored. Mundane. Ordinary. Yep – I’m spoiled.

It’s been suggested to me that this is the “real world”. “Welcome to the real world, Boudicca!” 9-5, work your life away, can’t/don’t afford to go interesting places but buy that new curved TV instead, everything is a “process” no matter how easy, gotta do stuff the expected way and not necessarily the most efficient way… Is this really what life is about?

No, I don’t think so.

Mission: To Live A Day of Hyper-Observance

I want to be a writer. Actually, I am a writer…just unpublished, maybe lacking real dedication and motivation that most published writers have… So, the goal is to change that.

Most of the characters in my life are flat. I see them, generally. New outfit, change of hair color, looking healthy and fit or maybe pale and sickly. I’m that girl that could probably walk past someone high as a kite and not notice anything but their physical dimensions and clothing. I don’t turn to stare at people who pull up in the car next to mine at a traffic light. Not interested, don’t like it when people do that to me…

I’m a clinical and logical type. The physical basics are covered and the deepest I go is probably theorizing someones motivations, categorizing their behavior patterns and noting their thought processes, if I get that close to them. Trend analysis. How boring is that when it comes to reading about a character! Now that I think about it, my protagonists might even be flat…at most, they have deeply beveled edges, but they aren’t fleshy and curvy with complexity. They are in my mind! I know them. But will they be in yours?

Here’s my husband, walking down the street, openly staring at people. People watching is his sport. He doesn’t think he’s staring, but I do and I would if he were doing the same to me! But what does he see? The way that man’s hand was trembling, the body shape and deducing a particular type of athlete if they’re fit, the yellow bleariness in someone’s eyes, cracked lips, condition of teeth, the way someones shoulder bone protrudes, if a bone was likely broken… He sees all sorts of stuff that never even registers to me.

Today my mission is to be observant to the extreme. I will look deeply, note and describe details, purposely look for things I’d otherwise ignore. I will try to appreciate and create a full picture from what I see…and then, not get too wordy about it. Because then I’ve lost you.

This writing stuff is tricky!

NaNoWriMo crash and burn! But I’m OK.

It’s near the end of the day, last day of the month, and my 50,000 word objective for NaNoWriMo was not reached. Oh well…

A definition of failure is not meeting a desired or intended objective. What about the successes of failure? There is a positive side. Each experience teaches us something. When someone tells you their story of failure, don’t mock and think how much better you are or how much smarter you would have been in that situation. Listen. Take notes. They are sharing an experience that may contain valuable information to propel you past common mistakes. We all fail. We all succeed. All is temporary and impermanent.

 “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas A. Edison

Take lessons from each failure and say, “Well, that didn’t work. Let me try another way.” Or take a different route. Press forward and don’t quit. Whoever taught you that you would always succeed anyway for a failure to be so demoralizing?

Maybe a post on the unrealistic portrayal of life in entertainment media is in order…

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
Salvador Dalí

My success of NaNoWriMo is that I was inspired! I didn’t get the numbers in but I got in numbers! Disjointed passages are mostly joined. Gaps were filled in and the plots further defined. A previously started novel is taking shape and it just might become something! It’s kind of exciting! So what – I failed at NaNoWriMo’s objective but this isn’t the end.

It’s Not Even December Yet

Is it Christmas time already? Actually, when does “Christmas time” start?

We arrived for dinner at the in-laws a couple days ago and blaring unseasonably soon in the picture window was the Christmas tree. There were even wrapped gifts beneath it. It’s not even December yet.

Today there is a Christmas parade in town. It’s not even December yet!

By the 25th, Santa’s ho, ho, ho’s are going to be played out. Has anyone done a study on how long it takes the average person to tire of a catchy phrase or in this case, a festive season? In other words, how long does it take a special occasion to turn into commonplace monotony?

I’m no Scrooge. I love this season! People tend to be happier, everyone greets each other with the inclusive, PC “Happy Holidays!”, and there’s feasts of great proportions. No matter your religion or propensity to speculate the actual birthdate of Christ, you probably find something to enjoy about the holiday spirit in December…I mean, November, then December. You should be able to hit at least 4 parties by Christmas Eve if you do it right!

Christmas is get together’s with family and friends, sometimes with people you haven’t seen in ages. To be excited about this, I think the trick is not to see them in ages! Christmas is pulling out the apron and mixer, readying for preparing a meal of special effort, infused with love and caring. Christmas is sharing. And I don’t mean gift giving. I mean sharing time, sharing stories, sharing a piece of oneself to others, like helping Grandma make chocolate-covered peanut butter balls when you’d rather be watching TV.

What Christmas is NOT, for me at least: It is not about getting material gifts. It is not about judging the value of the received gift against what you spent for that person’s gift! It is not about getting pissed you didn’t get what you want and crying over it. It is not about worrying about getting in trouble for not getting someone exactly what they wanted!

My concern: the holiday season is getting worn out. It’s becoming more materialistic and commercialized and bleeding over into much-needed average months. Much-needed because we need a bit of rain to appreciate the sunshine, that’s why! I walked into a department store in October and there were Christmas decorations everywhere and Christmas music playing on the loud speaker. What’s Christmas about? It’s time to spend your money on valueless material items for people you love and people you hate but have to pretend like you love! Why? Why is it about spending money? How many people are still paying off their December shopping spree in June? Why are we being pushed to buy, buy, buy? That must be why Santa was in the shopping center last Wednesday. And why Christmas is seeping into October. It’s time to get us spending.

I’d like to see the Christmas season start in December, preferably after the 10th. I’d like to see people do for one another instead of filling a lack of doing with material items. I’d like to see homemade, purposeful gifts! It would be really great if every commercial on TV and every shop in town didn’t wear us out about the coming holiday long before it’s here.