Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

Yeah yeah yeah... "To get to the other side..."

Right. But nobody ever tells you what in the world the chicken did when she
got there!


For so long the goal had been to find a new home, cross through the threshold into the next part of my life and begin to build the new life, long in the planning, imagining myself kind of skipping through wildflowers on a sunny day. Ahem.

Nobody tells you that the fenced yard is going to need 3 times as many boards as expected.

Scribble, scribble, scribble, fake smile,

(These are the sounds of me writing yet one more check for one more thing that I hadn't planned on or expected and then having it cost 3x what I'd thought it would have if I'd imagined it at all -- handing it to the workman or the checkout woman at Lowe's hardware store whom I am now on a first name basis with, also knowing the names of all 17 of her grandchildren -- and then my head going clunk down on the table smack into piles of paper, bills, receipts, and only God knows what half this stuff is...)

Welcome to life as a homeowner!

And then it wasn't a particularly cheerful moment when I found out the whole roof had to be replaced, down to the guttering and various and sundry other things, and just today I realized that there is a problem with the fireplace that doesn't draw properly after having paid a good chunk to have it inspected and fixed. Oh Joy!

Scribble, scribble, scribble, fake smile,

Some good soul should have told the chicken a few things before she started off with her 5 dogs, six parrots, and
Alice in Wonderland sense of things before she crossed the road. And yet... And yet I wouldn't change a thing. Even the hard things. They have been startling and downright scary at times, but not during one single moment have I regretted my decision and I thank God every day, every moment, for this wonderful place. This cozy little place. This funny little place with the big ship out back who is going to get a facelift and a new coat of paint during the warm weather; the big fenced yard that the dogs are having the time of their lives in; the nice neighbors I've met; and this week sweet "Bug," a man who works for my best friend Jeff, is going to come to start helping me hack away at the beginning of the new garden. So many wonderful and often unusual people have come into my life through this whole adventure that I would not have met otherwise, that I am deeply blessed. I am making friends in unexpected places and am showered with gifts that come packaged as little lessons falling from the sky that I must open and tend to every single day.

When you went from your parents home to your married life at 20 (The year was 1974.), and go straight into having 3 children by 29, and you are one of the last vestiges of the pretty much
unliberated women, wherein your husband takes care of everything (Thank God my daughters -- and son -- know how to take care of their lives far better than I did!) and one day you wake up, divorced, alone, and not knowing how to do diddly squat. And then you decide to buy your first house ever at 55 and diddly squat ain't the half of it, if you get my drift. What an adventure! (See, that's me putting a positive spin on things!)

But while the changes have literally terrified me at times, sent me reeling or into tears, and finally into a terrible, terrifying crash in the middle of Sam's where I went to get my prescriptions filled and then, walking away from the counter, literally almost hit the floor, I have been sent, sometimes frightening hard, lessons I needed to remember to heed. At Sam's my arms and legs were shaking so hard, I was hanging onto the cart, about to collapse, not able to speak clearly and but for the kindness and quick response of a lady who worked at Sam's who grabbed me and got me to sit down, brought me an energy drink and protein bars and just sat with me, I would have gone SPLAT! embarassingly in the middle of the Bandaid aisle. And when it became apparent I was not going to be okay to drive home a friend was called to pick me up and drive me home and my car was brought to me the next day.

It seems that I, the person who rarely ever leaves the house and has had to leave and be busy busy busy in the world in a way I have never been, has been forgetting to eat and still running, and taking the meds that keep me stable in a wonkified fashion because hours and meals don't quite mesh, and in Sam's it seems I had something between low blood sugar, unbalanced meds, and a panic attack to end all panic attacks. All of the weeks of fears, woes, worries and more hit me right in the middle of Sam's Club, just up the aisle from the prescription counter and I think I left my body there for awhile. Whoo. Talk about scary. And when the people close to you are crying and confused and worried you just darn well do your best to get a grip and not let go.

Filled with protein this and that with water full of electrolytes and whatnots and gotten home by the dear man who got me in and settled, got all the dogs out, and made sure I had everything I needed before he left, I went to sleep with my phone next to me and woke up fine the next morning. It was the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back." It was also my Bi-Polar running amok trying to do too much too soon and then being in this house in a sea of boxes that made me feel so overwhelmed I felt like I was at the very bottom of the Grand Canyon, expected to climb the mountain. Well, that's just ridiculous. I'm not climbing any mountain. I'm taking the rocky little foot path and beginning "the journey of a thousand miles with a single step." There is nothing to worry about, simply the step ahead of me. And, too, the lesson of the snail.

I have written about the snail a great many times. I have had stationery, postcards, and more printed with the image of a snail and a slogan that came to me one morning, early, when I was then, as well, trying to do too much, too soon, too fast. It's a simple little slogan... "How Slow Can You Go?"

I also teach a class called Snail Mind Meditation, and have a book of the same name in the works. (© 2007 Maitri Libellule) But I have not heeded my own teachings and had a collapse all out of proportion with anything I have ever experienced. When we are not taking care of ourselves, God will step in and give us a bit of a KAPOW to make us sit up and notice. I noticed. So did everyone else around me. And so now I begin again, more slowly, slinking along and breathing with the snail...

So amidst unpacking boxes, starting the garden, and remembering to eat well and take my meds on their proper schedule, not to mention working on the book whose time has come, the ministry has finally taken root and will grow, like the garden, through my life and days. And there will be snails in the garden, and they will be welcome here...

Blessings and Love,


Split Rock Ranch said...

It will get better. Bless your heart that you've been so overwhelmed with all there is to do! Just focus on your dream - the little cottage you envisioned and it WILL happen, perhaps at a snail's pace, but it will happen. Hugs, B

janaes jewels said...

I will hold your thoughts as inspiration that I will so need in my new venture to downsize, sell my beloved home and find peace and (re) happiness elsewhere (to be determined).
I will work at a snails pace, remember to breathe and even nourish my family for the strength to keep going.
And..I will watch for your progress and hope that you feel peace as you settle and know that I too can do it!

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