End of the year 2010 meanderings

Here we are.  I’ve gotten through each day just planning on getting through each day.  My most recent challenge which I have accepted is to work The Artists’ Way.  What a great experience this is.  The first requirement is to write 3 morning pages each day.  Just streaming of consciousness writing.  Don’t plan, just write.  What has emerged is truly wonderful.  I am having thoughts – and accepting them – about changes which I have fought vigorously.  I am healing in areas of my life (if not my feet) that have not previously occurred.  I am accepting myself and my drive with this writing, learning about myself, and wondering what will be the next chapter.

I know I’m struggling with aging.  Beauty and attractiveness have always been part of my mode of operation.  Even when I didn’t believe it was completely true, I knew that I could dress up and clean up and make it work.  I have gotten to the age where the 2nd looks are not happening, I’m arriving at the age of the “invisible woman” (unless I get loud) and the visual nods of approval are not coming my way often (except from loved ones and friends). I’m adjusting to the last year having taken its toll on me.  But I’m getting better with it.  If only friends and family tell you that you are lovely, isn’t that the most loving and important people to care?  Truly it must be.

Back to The Artist’s Way.  IF you desire to have your creativity unlocked, please pursue this book.  You notice I did not say read it.  Pursue it.  Internalize it.  Make it part of your daily habit to know YOU better than you know anyone else.  The changes which come to you in life – be it in physical, mental, emotional, intellectual form – can be embraced and accepted.  I am practicing loving me, and in association, loving my family and dealing with my problems in a more directed and self considering manner than ever before.

Additionally, for the new year, I am hiring a personal coach.  A woman I have known for years who I am aware is extremely talented at what she does.  I am investing in me.  This will not be an inexpensive expense.  I will have to budget my money and monitor what I spend.  I will have to be financially frugal and fiscally responsible.  I will have to say no to the random, addicted purchase, and use what I have.  I believe that this will be worth the investment.  I have goals to accomplish, I’m 56 years old, and I want this next chapter to move forward with purpose and dynamic action.  I want to live hard until I die.  And this is my plan on how to accomplish it.

Today’s writing is almost a “stream of consciousness” writing, much like my morning pages.  But it feels good to do this, and I hope it feels good to you to read it.  Invest in you for the new year.  If that means one yoga class a week, or a new pair of walking shoes, or a makover, or going back to school.  Live hard.  Love hard. Do it for you for 2011.



Watch the following. Wow, you thought it was going to be a very ugly post, didn’t you?  No, no, no.  I can do this on my time, but not on VN’s nickel.  Ahem.

How much have you changed?  Think about that for a moment.  1….2….3…. and so on.  How different do you feel today from, let’s say, five years ago?  10?  25?

We change.  Yeah, that’s the good news and the bad.  Women change.  And sometimes we don’t want it to happen.  Who deals with change well?  The human condition says you don’t do it.  Well.  Yet, it is the one constant in life.  That changes will happen.

So you’ve changed.  Do you feel less maternal?  Less willing to give until you drop?  I do.  This will be my last Thanksgiving cooked at my house.  Everyone is welcome to come again next year and the year after and the years after that.  I hope to be living somewhere else next year.  That is part of my change.  I have been in the same house for 26 – YEAH – 26  years.  I want new living arrangements.  I want a downtown condo without two huge german shepherds.  I don’t exactly know what to do about that, but it suddenly occurs to me that this is not where I want to be now.  I don’t want to be and do and act like others think I should.  I want to live in my skin without the care taking of previous years.  I’m not in charge of anyone else nor do I want to be.

So here’s the deal.  (One of my most hated statements.)  I want to choose for a change.  I want to be me in such a real way that others may hate it.  Sons may wonder where their mother went.  Perhaps when I’m 70, I will want some of this back.  I rather doubt it.  I want to pursue my path and my direction without the endless demands of a mother and, quite frankly, a wife.   I finally just want to be me.

I have recently begun HRT.  Pellets.  I feel very good now.  Energy is popping out all over.  Check your research, and see if you need the benefits of estrogen.  testosterone.  progesterone.  Check out Milleniumwellnessusa.org.  Its worth considering.

Where are you in your life changes?  Do you have less need to be the care-taking woman who you’ve been?  Man, have I been that.  If you still want it, tell me.  I would love to hear from all of you whether your body is changing your life or you are choosing the path you chose.  I need to know.


3 Women College Presidents in South Carolina

In a state not known for our educational successes, this is truly a wonderful accomplishment for women.  In Spartanburg County, Three of six college presidents are women.  I think that speaks highly for the growth of opportunties for women.  Maybe one day, I’ll become a college president.  Hasn’t been on my list of things to do before I die, but now I’m interested.


Take a Hike

This is an inspring story of a woman who changed her life by starting with a hike.  No small hike, however.  She tackled the Appalachian Trail – all 2000 miles of it.  In doing so, she managed to create a whole new world for herself, shedding a toxic marriage and creating lasting friendships along the way.  Read for your own inspiration.


A Mindful Year

Every so often, I make the attempt to get more organized.  I recognize that when I am organized (or moreso), I feel much more accomplished and I actually get things done.  If I plan my day before I find myself in the middle of one, I do much better.  Sometimes I find help in reading specific books that allow me to see myself better, and monitor those actions where I need help.

Last year, I picked up Jennifer Louden’s The Life Organizer: A Woman’s Guide to a Mindful Year.  Now I must confess that I have not read it completely, nor worked it thoroughly.  I have made pitiful attempts, and in doing so, I have become more aware of things I do to avoid doing.  I believe that 50% of success in life involves just showing up, which is not a specific problem for me.  But it is the other 50% that I struggle with.  Prolific writers make me nuts.  I want to be prolific, I know I can be prolific, if the details of life would just stop interrupting.  But this is about the avoidance dance.  (wow – dance is at the end of “avoidance”). 

What are my self-initiated distractions?  Where do I allow my attention to wander when I don’t want to do what I must to feel good about myself?  I have the game brick breaker on my Blackberry.  I’ve gotten very good at it.  There are some lessons there (the 10,000 hour thing – if you do anything 10,000 hours, you are going to by force become great at it.  Just saying.)  I can chat with people I will never meet on the internet.  I can find a movie that will fit into my history studies, and spend an afternoon watching.  I can let the lure of the dust call me from my furniture and get up to rid my home of that terrible blight – which didn’t bother me at all when I sat down to write.  I can fold clothes, fill the dishwasher, play with the dogs, answer the phone…my god, it really is endless.

Or – and this is the part that gets me – Or I can follow the plan, spend the time I allot for writing and then – and ONLY then – get to the time wasters.  That is what reading the very small portion of this book has done for me.  I have identified my own time wasters yet I know that when I stay focused and finish doing what I planned on doing NO MATTER WHAT, that I will feel much better about me at the end of the day.  So I will finish this book, and this will be the only book I allow myself during this next three months outside of the books I must read.  As I finish my thesis.

What are your time wasters?  What lures you away from the creativity you truly want in your life.  Google the above book, and see if you think it could help you.

Oh Yeah!!! They Myths about Menopause

For years, I have wondered why women are fretful and afraid of  menopouse.  In my case, I don’t know when or if it happened because of a partial hysterectomy in my early 40’s.  That was the greatest decision I could make for my health because after the womb was excised, the body felt so much better.  The flooding of my finally regular periods was draining me of life and energy, and within two weeks, I felt so much better that I decided to have a body part removed every year.  Reading the following article really puts the fears to rest – so  much can be psychological, and even more can be aided with a good diet and regular aerobic and weight training exercise.  Take a look, and see how positive our time of life truly is!