4/21/14

Pay attention, people. Don't forget to pay very close attention....

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You become what you pay attention to.


This particular thought has been rolling around in my brain and my heart since last weekend. 

It was Sunday afternoon, and I was resting these knees that have been arguing with me for months and months now. Apparently cartilage is kind of important, and arthritis and too many years of torturing them with gymnastics have completely removed all that golden cartilage from both of my knees.  There is NONE left. And while the doctor may or may not have told me to refrain from ANY and all hiking or walking, I have made the incredible mistake of ignoring him.  Or, as I like to call it, I simply didn’t remember a word he said. 

Well, I won’t make that crazy mistake again.  (Oh, who am I kidding?)

So that particular Sunday I was laying in a comfortable, cozy pool of down (comforter) on my bed, channel-surfing as I waited for the 5 billion mg’s of Aleve to kick in.  I stopped for a moment on the Oprah Network intrigued by the sight of Sue Monk Kidd on her Super Soul Sunday special.  Not only do I adore her writing (The Mermaid’s Chair?  The Secret Life of Bees for God’s sake???), but I am fascinated by any author’s story as I strive to push the publish button on my own.

She spoke so eloquently about her journey, and about the discoveries she’s made along the way.  I was transfixed, hypnotized by the beauty of her words and the power of her thoughts. I felt an affinity for her, a sort of sister-like adoration as she outlined the path she has walked.

“You become what you pay attention to,” she said. “What we give the attention of our heart to, matters deeply. So when we give the attention of our heart to, to ourselves, to our worries, to our fears, we become that.

“We become…what we pay attention to.”  

Wow.

I realized that I have been paying way too much attention to the obstacles that have been thrown in my path, and not as much attention to the gifts and treasures that are right on my doorstep.  I have listened to the fears that creep into my heart late at night, instead of the songs of love and joy that are sung to me every day by my friends and family.
  
And so today, and each day since then, I have been thinking and thinking about who and what I am giving the attention of my heart to.  Who and what are worthy of the attention of my heart?  It’s so very, very important to decide.

I am giving the attention to my children.  I am giving the attention to my dear friends.  I am giving the attention to the children in my classroom.  

And above all else, and most importantly, I am giving it to myself.  I am paying attention to my own heart, to my own soul, and to my own healing.  


And today I say to all of you, dear readers, please listen to the song in your own heart.  Please, go pay attention to someone or something that so richly deserves that particular gift.


And be damn sure to include yourself.






4/19/14

Oh, Frodo...I finally get it. (I just hope that Smeagol doesn't bite my finger off....)


I’ve always loved The Lord of the Rings.  I read the trilogy years ago when I was a 21 year-old college graduate and I discovered the books in an old used-book store in downtown San Diego.  


I would take the bus downtown and wander through the store, exploring every dusty nook and cranny.  It was in half of an old, fantastic building, and the books were tucked in shelves of various shape and size, packed tightly like a book hoarders paradise.  


I stumbled upon the books and they called my name.  I bought them, tucked them in my backpack and rode the bus home.  For days afterwards, I ate them up like Middleswarth bar-be-que potato chips, savoring every word and every page. 


And, like some do with The Godfather, I often feel compelled to compare life’s challenges to those faced by Frodo, and his trusty Sam. 





I embarked on my own journey some years ago, embraced and wrapped in love by so many friends.  

Like the Fellowship, they surrounded me and walked beside me for many, many days. 

And then, right on cue, I ran away from the battle and hunkered down in my own lair to heal my wounds, and to gain the strength I knew I would need for the final walk; the walk towards the end of the journey. 


I don’t think I realized until now how incredibly hard it is to search for strength when you have used up so very much of it. 




It’s been three and half years.   I’m just about spent. 



But then, my trusty Sam has come and lifted me in her arms. She walked me towards the finish line.  She found an amazing lawyer who won’t charge me a billion dollars to finish this up, who is furious that it has lasted this long, and who is amazing.  My Sam took me by the hand, shared my story, reminded me and the lawyer that I’ve been too damn nice and woke me up.


At then end of the meeting my new champion looked me in the eye.


“Do you see that?” she asked emphatically, pointing to an imaginary spot on the wall, “THAT is the finish line.  You just give me your hand, cause I’m going to take you across it.”


I looked at my trusty Sam with tears of gratitude in my eyes.    She smiled.  “Buckle up.  It’s the end of the ride.”





I pray that she is right. 







4/11/14

Frankly, I was TRYING not to kiss and tell.....


We were sitting on the couch watching the news and sharing stories from the day.  It’s become our routine now that we are ROOMMATES again.   ( The other perks of being roommates we’ll just save for ANOTHER post….)

Bitchy looked at me, “Mom...., Her Royal Highness is wondering why you haven't been sharing news about your life lately?”

“Well, I’m not sure what you mean?” I said.  Meaning, of course, that I knew EXACTLY what she meant.

“You know, she said you haven’t been blogging too much, and you’re not sharing all the personal stuff that you usually do.”

“Hmmmm,” I said thoughtfully.  “So, is it okay if I write about YOU??”

“Sure.” she said.

“And…Sassy?”

“Sure!” she added happily.

"And...it's okay if I write about dating?????" 
 

She thought for a minute.  “Well..... okay.”


“Okay then.  So let me be clear about this...it’s okay if I write about dating and having sex as a woman over FIFTY??”


“MOM!!!!!!!!!!!” she shouted in the high pitched hysterical voice I’ve missed so much.   “OH MY GOD!!  NO!  Oh my God I am SO disgusted right now!”



“Well, you started all this. And now that you’ve given me the o.k., I’ve got some WRITING TO DO!!”


“NO!!!!!!!!!” I heard her shout as I ran out of the room laughing.   






It sure is nice to know that even though she’s 24, I can still kick her @$$.