Storms Ahead?

As I headed into an appointment today, I glanced over my shoulder.
I was hoping this was not a metaphor for my life, or a sign of what was coming. My Mom has Alzheimer’s, or at least dementia that gives her very little memory. I never know from day to day if she will need me, or if I will have to make some life changing decision about her care. Yesterday, I did.

We are moving her again to a different facility. These changes are hard on people with memory issues, but as her caregiver, I often need to make these difficult decisions. So, storms are on the horizon. But, perhaps we will get a reprieve. Perhaps the clouds will pass, and she will settle in. That’s really all I want for her. A way for the end of her life to be calm. For her to know I love her.

I printed this yesterday, and the work gave me a chance to pause.

Camp, Revisited

I spent four days at Life is a Verb Camp with Patti Digh last weekend. This third time was different, partly because I dragged my husband along to help me carry heavy presses and type and partly because I’ve changed.

The weekend is a safe place for everyone, regardless of personality type, gender, religion, culture, or heritage. Usually, I attend it allРthe small creative workshops, the loud, boisterous talent show, the speakers. But this weekend, I listened to my heart, my head, and my stomachРall three told me to spend time away from the crowds. On one hand it was hard. I love these people. But I also have had a difficult  fall, and I knew that socializing, even with kind, good people, was not going to be easy for me.

Instead I read and wrote, walked about the camp looking at colors, and explored Hendersonville. NC. The few times I connected restored me– sharing my love of letterpress, meeting new people over meals in the dining room, and spending a few moments with poet Toi Derricotte ( joy). I wish some of these folks lived closer so we could meet in small groups!

But no regrets. I am glad I went (stopping along the way to see my “traveling friends” in Charlotte– so much fun!)

We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly – spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.
Susan L. Taylor

Practicing Forgiveness

I am a feeler, an empath. “You’re too sensitive,” I’ve been told.

But over the past ten years, I’ve been practicing being more resilient, more forgiving of myself.¬† Writing helps, finding the parts of my story that don’t work for me any longer. Breathing deeply and whooshing it all away helps, too.

There is such a mystery as to why we act the way we do and make certain choices. Becoming more thoughtful about those choices– and realizing that we do, in fact, have a choice, has helped me feel less stressed.

Two new practices:

  • listening to a meditation podcast before I go to sleep each night
  • paying less attention to the news

When you forgive, you in no way change the past Рbut you sure do change the future. Bernard Meltzer

Be kind to yourself….