Ever had one of those mornings when you wake up and everything is definitely well with your world? happened to me this morning. Woke to a perfect desert morning; temperature around 59F, sky cloudless and a soft breeze in the air. Took my tea out onto the patio and noticed two things: the wisteria that has played dead for the past four months had sent out delicate, green leaf shoots overnight; the Black Chinned hummingbirds that disappeared in December were back. What a glorious morning! And then, on our walk, dog and I came within 30 feet of the resident neighborhood javelina gang....we backtracked out of their way but what a gift to see wild animals out on a cactus hunt so close up.
Several years ago I worked with a woman who rejoiced everyday at the beauty of ordinary things - needed parts were late coming in and she took that as an opportunity to relabel shelves! On one morning when I was definitely grouchy I called out to her asking she was so permanently perky and positive. She came into my office and sat across from me. "I'm an alcoholic" she stated. I've been clean and sober for more than 15 years but to this day I remember waking to a hazy view of the world, I moved slowly, I kept my head down. I was functional and very few people knew I had an addiction. The day I was finally free of alcohol was a miserable, gray, slushy morning in Detroit but to me everything was clear and bright. That's how I see the world now."
Her description of a slow shuffle into each day reminded me of the need to rejoice and be grateful for what small gifts just being in the moment presents. Those who know me well will testify that I am anything but a Pollyanna type and quite capable of the odd snarl! But this morning, something was different in my perception of the world, my senses were heightened and my vision clear. Oh for everyday to be like this.
Jim Duzak writes this month of the way in which women in particular burden themselves with the problems of others. There's a genetic button somewhere that has us believe that we have to fix every ones problems. I'm sure it happened when we lived in caves..."honey, that club looks heavy, here, sit on the rock and chip in the crossword puzzle while I go thump this week's mammoth". And off we went, skins flapping and muttering "men, I have to do everything", while he poor cave man sits bemused thinking "but I like hunting and bringing home the mammoth". I don't know about you but I fall so quickly into the "I'll do it, you just sit" mode on everything from making coffee to catching the blasted packrats. It is so typical of women to resist help and to be incapable of saying no. I spent years on being on charity boards, was remarkably efficient and was, now that I look back, frequently a sucker! The "I'll take care of it" mode made me feel good, gave me a sense of worth and I honestly think a great deal of it stemmed from being fearful of not being needed. It was a fear that I let shape much of my early adulthood. Check out the article in March Connectionsforwomen on letting so of stress. You can do it if you want to.
Genny and I met with Roxie Garcia this week , founder of Farmers Markets Tucson. We're delighted that Connections For Women is going to work with Roxie to bring awareness to women emerging as entrepreneurs, small scale business start-ups and sustainable living that gives back to community. As we chatted the conversation turned serious and Roxie commented how we often let other peoples fears dictate what we do. Geez, between our self-imposed fears and the fears of others, I'm amazed that women still manage to run the world!
That's it....need to get outside and celebrate this day free from worry, free from burdens and senses fully on the alert. There's a Buddhist belief that teaches it's the steps along the journey, not the final destination, that we should be aware of.
Short Shots from MidLife & Beyond: Invisibility - It's comforting to know that that personality doesn't go the way of perky breasts and a freshfaced complexion.