Thursday, 19 October 2017

Man who walks amoung the stars


As I get older I will hear more and more about the deaths of those I grew up listening to and idolizing. But I expected it would happen when I was much older, not now.  He was only 53!  I am only 55. I want life to stand still and stop this. I am not ready. I am so tired of death, I want life. I hate fuck cancer but I hate it doubly today because it took Gord Downie. Our embodiment of Canadianna. I was blessed to see him in action in 2007 and again in 2015.  Him on the stage moving his body to his music to his words from the heart. He was mesmerizing, so unbelievably so, pure magnetism-I could not take my eyes off him. I still see him and his stage antics. The music and songs make my entire body break out in goosebumps, I just have to hear the beautiful riff and vocal "sundown in the paris of the prairies"..  And what is so wonderful is that you probably know exactly what I am talking about.

I can't pick a favorite Hip song, oh many come close to the top; Bobcaygeon; Wheat Kings; Ahead by a Century; Fiddlers Green; Morning Moon. But seriously how do you even begin to choose from all that talent?  His lesser known songs are even more beautiful; Last night I dreamed you didn't love me; Put it off; Pigeon camera, and my favorite- It's a good life if you don't weaken. He won't ever be dead, but he has died- if you get my drift.

And that brings me to what his death has me thinking about today.  This overwhelming urge to live each day fuller. To not squander or waste the opportunity to live fully and completely everyday. Every. Single. Day. It's a physical feeling I feel, somewhere in my chest- in my breath. It makes my heart beat faster and causes a slight overall vibration. I have an increase of energy and sense of aliveness. This physical manifestation of life as I think and feel it should be lived.  This feeling is often times in the background and comes out of me on days like this. I heard about his death and had a good cry, and this has been there.

I want to go around and kiss everyone on the lips. Gord you had it right!
I want to cure cancer instead of saying fuck to it
I want to sit up all night and watch the stars move, fuck sleep you can do it when you're dead
I want to get on that motorcycle  now  before the snow flies
I want to love love love the ones I love and hug the ones I don't
I want to take those risks, speak from my heart
I want to fly overseas again and cry in the Tuscan fields
I want to live fully and completely

Sometimes I feel like I am trudging through the mundaneness of life waiting in the wings for the time when my life will begin. This is not how one should live because as I know so well this will catch up to me. You can die waiting, many have-- I don't want to die waiting. "No dress rehearsal this is our life"! People die at 53, at 65, life is so so fucking short, good people do die young. I feel paralyzed at times to do something about this except rage at anyone who will listen. I don't want to be pragmatic, I want to be idealistic wild and crazy.

I want to live like Gord danced!


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

A girl and her dog






Pax has been my constant companion for the past 5 years and 6 months. I remember the day I picked him out with Terry, Mary, Candice and Michael. We all went to Middleton and hung out in Roy's barn watching the baby collies that late winter. Roy showed us how the collies can herd sheep and jump fences and do tricks. They were splendid dogs. We met his mom and dad and said yes okay what about him - we will take the one with the broken white collar. I don't think his eyes were even open.  We returned April 17th, 2012 to pick him up. Me driving home, Terry holding him in a basket.

We were branching out for another go with a canine companion. About a year previous we had put our shepherd down because his hips had gone and he could not walk much anymore. It broke my heart, I still see him being put into the car to go to the vet. I remember how much I cried afterward, how we all did, how lonely it was to run in the woods without him by my side. I never thought I would be ready again for another to take his place. But as life happens, life happened. A co worker needed her husky exercised and I offered to take him when I ran. That dog jumped out of his skin when he saw me coming, he was a sweetie and it was good to have a running buddy again. Even if it made me cry over missing my Rembrandt.  And this husky wore me down, made me want that connection with a dog again. So I knew it was time to bring one into my life.

Pax is a special dog, no really he is. He is gentle beyond (you can put your hand with food right into his mouth and he won't bite down on it only the food). He loves to cuddle on the bed, on your lap, in your chair with you, on the floor you name it he wants to cuddle. He knows my emotions- when I am sad he comes and lays his head on my lap and looks at me with his beautiful and somewhat sad brown eyes. When I am upset or angry he sulks off anxiously into the den to lay in the corner (yes he is a tad anxious poor soul). If he could say I love you mommy he would.  It is this moment in the hall of the apartment on the way outside, this thing I noticed he does. He does not pull on the lease, he holds back and stays right by my left side and looks up at me as we walk toward the door his head and body really close to my side, just looking at me. He has done it numerous times, it's one of those moments, a connection between a girl and her dog that just will forever resonate in my heart. I always look to see if he will do it, most times he does not  but sometimes I get lucky. I love you too Pax, I would do anything for you.

In the past Pax was Terry's dog. He was the one who played frisbee and ball with him everyday in and outside of the house. I was the one who took him for runs in the woods but Terry fed him and played with him. I remember Terry saying he was afraid he wouldn't see Pax again when he was in the ER sick. He loved that dog too. Pax loved him, but would not stay on his sick bed. Pax got more anxious after Terry died. Pax loved Terry too obviously.  But he has me now, and I try hard to make him miss that master less and love this mistress more. He and I both together on this journey.

Pax met lots of people this weekend, he loved them all, he is fickle that way- going into someone elses bed for a cuddle without a second thought of me! Hah! I love it though, his open heart. I love bringing him to his second home, the cottage makes him very happy so I tried to ensure he got there almost every weekend this summer. I love this picture my friend took of him on my deck this past weekend. He looks like a puppy all fuzzy and back lit with the sun.

Hey Pax you and I are companions, you are my constant. I loves you to pieces, I know both you and I can have other companions, find others to give our hearts to, but please continue to walk by my side and look me in the eyes on our walks out the apartment door.

Friday, 13 October 2017

In the groove


Sometimes I feel at one. Ever been there, you know- in the groove so to speak? At one with nature and all that is around you. Even to the extent that you can almost read nature. I "feel" where the moon is without really knowing, I don't know north versus south but I just feel that moon is coming up there soon,  I feel or sense it below the horizon just over there. That kind of groove.

I call it being at one. Having a connection to the higher consciousness be it with all kindred spirits we share this planet with or be it with the sun, moon and stars that this beautiful blue dot wears as accessories. This feeling in the groove has been there a long time with me (oh it was missing for a few years for sure, but it is there when I allow myself to become conscious to it). I remember very vividly at the age of seven playing outdoors alone, no one around and feeling this way. This memory has stayed with me as a very good one. I only need walk in nature and I feel it again. In the groove.

Feelings-- they are so mysterious. I am fascinated. I guess this explains my desire to be a psychotherapist-- although I never reached that goal- I became my own- I have nevertheless always been intrigued with feelings. The extremes, the subtle, the unexpected, the ones that heal you, the ones that slay you. Couple happy feelings with nature- beautiful nature like a huge orange harvest moon and some heartfelt happiness and voila! In the groove. 

What about the collective consciousness, about what Jung taught us? That unconscious we share with others here on earth, the past experiences and even memories from our ancestors that are passed on to us, that are not ours- but we are born with. Was the fact that others on the ferry this evening were all looking at this moon and snapping pictures of it influencing my feeling? The women and men who said wow.  The lovers who sat close by me, her head on his shoulder looking at this beauty- did it signal my joy I am feeling in my heart right now? Or was it memories I already had before my birth of how others gazed upon a harvest moon and felt in the groove 1000's of years ago? Was it just me feeling in the groove, me, myself and I - not influenced by anyone or anything except what I was experiencing in that present moment?

It doesn't matter.  Oh it is fun for a person like me with my personality to engage these thoughts and questions and ponder on them and where these ponderings take me, but in the end it truly does not matter. I feel good, in the groove, the moon was stunning, my heart leaped in appreciation, my breath taken away with it's beauty as it rose exactly where I had anticipated.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

I killed a crow today




I killed a crow today. It was shocking. The little creature- a youngin- that was on the road, almost at the yellow line, standing there. I wasn't speeding, but didn't slow because I know how smart they are and how they always leave at the last second. This one did fly up at the last second but to my dismay and horror it flew into my windshield, directly into my side of the windshield. Right in front of my face. Black feathers flying, body thumping, in my face - the startling death of a crow. Of course this upset me terribly. I had to pull over. It reminded me of the time my sister hit a dog and came bawling her eyes out to us and was shaken. I was so sad. I had to tell someone, someone I care for, I had to confess.

For anyone who knows me well knows the crow has significance in my life. It was Terry's special connection with nature. He fed crows at our house, he loved them and read books about them and talked about them and to them. One time he found a dead crow, he had it in our garden and he took a picture of it staged and surrounded by greenery. I never understood this and found it bizarre and even silly. I think I asked why but do not remember his answer, maybe he needed this ritualization of the dead crow for some reason. Nevertheless, because they are connected with my dead husband and because it smacked me square in the face, my mind went to the significance of this. At first I grappled with is this a sign or a coincidence? Is this a sign or premonition of something terrible to come - one crow sorrow and all that. Being a person who has had significant come true premonitions (maybe a later post, maybe not) of course I'd go there. Then I thought deeper into the meaning of this. Perhaps it is an end to grieving in this phase and a moving on to new hopeful events in my life now? Perhaps it was a fucking coincidence nothing else, just a crow in the road that couldn't fly quick enough out of the way of my car.   But...ahh somehow no that didn't quite fit.

Then, as often is the case with me, other things happen. A confluence of little coincidences so to speak to just bring home the message - in case you missed the dead crow in your face. A song came on my playlist, ah yes me and my songs and what they say and mean to me.  See previous post "I'm moving through the dark of a long night". Well didn't that song come on. It is from War on Drugs new album called A Deeper Understanding (haha), the song called "Thinking of a place" and it has these words in it, I'm moving through the dark of a long night.  And I posted a blog about it. And here is the song again on my playlist of 900+ songs right after I leave the roadside, tears put away. Coincidence? I don't know but I committed to listening to the song in detail. This song by the way is also the song I spoke about in yesterday's post, where I witnessed Pam and Patrick dance to it in the kitchen.  Why is it there? Making me feel all these feelings? Well let's put aside it's spectacular guitar riffs, soulful steel guitar notes, the fact it is about 10 minutes long and is to me two songs into one, both a mournful and a hopeful joyous song. A little ditty of genius.  Let's put that aside. This song comes on and I must listen. I just killed a crow. I feel life's confluence happening here, music has always spoken to me, it my lover since age 15. Stay with me.


At first the song is sad it talks about meeting someone, first seeing them as light in life then them leaving, the sadness of that.

"It was back in Little Bend that I saw you
Light was changing on the water
Where birds above had flown
There was pain in your eyes
So you vanished in the night
Missouri River in the distance
So I lied upon the lawn

I remember walking against the darkness of the beach
Love is like a ghost in the distance, ever-reached
Travel through the night 'cause there is no fear
Alone but right behind till I watched you disappear"


The song is mournful and quiet, it kinda ends - it's unexpected when this happens you want to keep hearing the riffs the melody and beautiful magical words, you say no, it shouldn't end there, I want more  need to ... hear the hope. Then it changes  it fades out almost to a stop and but (happily you think) oh yes, it starts again. He talks about moving through the long dark night. The healing journey I guess because his love dissappeared. Then the song builds and builds and it comes back with even more beautiful music that grabs you and you get lost in it  just lost, you can't believe it almost ended way back there, and yet here it is still going on, the words ringing true, because they are what you were waiting for, you just knew it  you were waiting for this. They are about healing and finding new love and new life and new ways to journey through the dark night. It is oh so moving. It is oh so hopeful too.

"Come and take my hand, babe
There's a turn in the road that we've been taking
Let it set you free
Because there's a rhythm in the way that we've been moving
Yeah, there's a darkness over there, but we ain't going

See it through through my eyes
Walk me to the water
Hold my hand as something turns to me
And turns me into you
Lead me through the night
Pull me from the water
Hold my hand as something turns to me
Turns me into you"

This - all songs that grab me, like dead crows that smack me in the face -forced me to listen, to hear. I can only conclude that this was an ending or sorts, the crow, the serenade maybe confirmed it. A ending to this phase of grief.

The song speaks of a new beginning. I have moved into a new phase, a new beginning.

And it is good.





Happy Thanksgiving





It’s what the old folks used to call a large day. Spectacular in many varied ways, be it weather, sunrises or sunsets that force you to look. Or perhaps it’s work done, wise words to the young or from the young, gestures with love, understanding and forthrightness all combined with magic in how the hours unfold lazily. And unfold lazily it did, with languid abandon to time and chores and anxieties. It was one of those in the moment days- all day.  Also, it was one of those days when you miss a companion by your side, someone to catch it as well, see it through each others eyes, so you’d have the shared memory for later. All they would need to say is “remember thanksgiving weekend at the camp in 2017 that day we called the large day”.... and you’d be transported here again.

In this day of days many moments showed me love between people. My sis and her hubby dancing to War on Drugs in the kitchen after a fantastic turkey supper. My cousin with a warm hug and genuine happiness for me as he saw the progress I am making in my serenity acre, this sanctuary of rest on my grief journey. Another cousin working on a beautiful piece of art for me. A walk on a new beach, feet in the water and on the warm sand, frolicking in the warm sun feeling it in every sense you have. Pax smiling at me. Fooling myself into believing it’s still summer.  All that love shared.

I started my day alone in the dark at 530 am on my deck photographing. Watching the sun’s slow dawn, the mist rolling in, the moon setting over a calm flat mirror of water. Coyotes howling for breakfast in the woods nearby and loons looning their soft mournful cry. Yes it’s thanksgiving, and I am thankful.  A beautiful feeling I am grateful to relive. I enjoyed the morning alone and it was ok. I have discovered I like alone time - me the extrovert....imagine that! It helps me think, it puts me in tune with that unknown entity we all sometimes feel touch us. A hammock or a deck chair to lie in and just gaze at sparkly sea water or let a tear of gratitude leak out without all the explaining that may follow. I seek it now, just a few alone spaces in a day is all I need, a companion is missed, but nonetheless I am finding I like alone. Surprise surprise.

So it is pretty easy to express warm thoughts of thanks on this thanksgiving weekend when the day reigns as large as this one. Thankfulness and gratitude for my family whom I marvel everyday they are alive. Today it doesn’t just feel like a quick thought of kindness sent off into the ether in the hopes there is a divine connectedness working with that prayer. Today it feels like that divine connectedness took that prayer and sent it back into my heart. Filling it with love. Like a happy thank you for giving that thanks.







Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Life savers


Sometimes when I look at my life over the past 8 years or so, I am sad. Much of it had been harsh and heavy. Lots of work in my career and work on myself to end with death of a spouse. On the GAF I would score high. I believe chronic stress has taken a toil on my body. I have turned away from healing gentle ways and fallen into bad habits. No exercise, bad diet etc. Here's news - it is time to stop looking there. Instead now I find I am looking with envy toward others with healthy clean living habits. They are life savers. I want that for me now. As a strong person who can go for what I want- whether it is to let myself go down the drain or let myself heal on a whole new level- I choose healing.
"This desperation
Dislocation
Separation, condemnation
Revelation in temptation
Isolation, desolation
Let it go"

I have a plan, not a goal. I can reach it, I see it there on the periphery. October is one of those times of the year when all is new again. I met Terry in early October, and we started our life together. I had Jeremy in October, a new mother with a new life to care for. It's a season of change and of new starts. People call it the mini new year, when change is about in the air. I see an opportunity to start afresh every fall when the crisp air arrives. I am tired of looking back, have been for awhile now.  I realize you can't drown your sorrows, you just need to swallow them, that way they don't keep coming up. Be at one with them. Take them in whole, into your soul. They are all a part of you all those sorrows. They shape you forever. They are life savers if you let them be.

I was told, you will have hope again, slowly all the dark you needed to escape into will be replaced with moving toward things in a light instead.  I was told, you deserve to be happy I want to see you happy.  I was told it will change, it sucks now but it won't always.  Life savers.

"If I could through myself
Set your spirit free, I'd lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day"

I have spent a number of these last three years trying to stay the same, go back, relive, remember and I have concluded that this is futile. And for a very --what occurred to me at the time as a profound truth others might have seen or known all along--good reason, and that is  holy shit of course it is futile to go back, how could you, you are not the same person!  It was a simple statement by my mentor in photography. She another life saver. You are not the same person anymore Sussey and you can't yet know who the new you is.  Some core values and tenants remain, but how I live them out is changed. Who I live them out with will change. It is no longer my sweet Terry by my side, he only remains in my heart. This new Sussey moves forward grabbing those life savers thrown to me, towards this change of season, change of being - with the good of what she once was and hope in what she will become.

To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so, fade away
Wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Women in their 50's


They have so much to offer, wisdom, financial security, sexual prowess and experience. A certain je ne sais quoiNo fear of a little blue or pink line on the ole pee stick. No busyness with snotty kids and messy diapers. Women over 50 rock, I see why younger men are attracted to older women now (and yes I have had more than one 35 year old contact me online) (although it creeps me out big time-  I get why they are attracted). I feel sorry for the old men going for the young things.  Isabella Rossellini, Susan Sarandon and Helen Mirren have got it all over any of the Kardashians, Taylor Swift or Katie Perry. All over!

Before I get started this is not a oh the widow is horny post (see the art of the kiss post for that). This goes far beyond that notion, although there is nothing wrong with horny. But that is only one component in the passionate over 50 women. I was watching this hilarious show last night called Big Mouth. It starts off with these grade eights in puberty and all the fun and foibles that that entails. I felt so sorry for them in between nearly pissing my pants laughing at them. I had forgotten how awful and fraught with angst that period of life was when our bodies change and we start blossoming sexually. Wow I went through that??? Somehow all I am left remembering of that time is a few kissing sessions and feeling penises for the first time. That and how I wanted to tear off my acne-ravaged face my entire high school years. Fuck!  Thank Christ that is over. (well most of it tee hee)

Now, as a mature women in her 50's I have a body I half admire, one that can look damn good by the way with a camera and some well positioned poses. No pimples, but yes some scars, belly fat and sun spots I could do without but hey it shows I lived and lived well. I no longer am ashamed of my face or my body (that in itself is fucking sexy). My hair has never looked better because I have money to spend on it (especially after it's colored and curled). I can go out and buy a gorgeous bra and underwear set and still look good in it. But I am not talking about only skin deep sexual beauty, I am talking about the knowledge that older women my age have. About life, about relationships, about how passion works and doesn't work, about what they want and how they can go about getting it without games like sending those notes to the guys best friend as we did in grade eight. It's this self knowledge that is sexy. This is very appealing to me, and I see it in older women. That knowing what they like and asking for it! Yes asking and knowing how to get it even if rejected because they know rejection isn't the end of the world. They know they can get it from themselves. Powerful wise women over 50.

I look forward to the day I take myself out to a nice dinner and movie alone, only me for company. I am very close to that. It's taken awhile but I am close. I feel the power in being a single women. The power to say no, or to say yes, to decide I want this today. To seek it and bask in it and enjoy it and be totally aware and open to the joy and yes the consequences of it. That is freeing, that is sexy and powerful. My girlfriend took boudoir pictures of me last weekend. This was something I never would have considered even 10 years ago, at that time I bought into the whole body shaming culture the fashion industry spouts off. It was actually suggested by a friend to do it for myself. And although at first I hesitated, later I rethought it and said why not? Life is full of choices we make, zillions each day, month, and year that lead us to the paths we go down. I was happy with my choice that day and the results.

As I get older I have less fear in being authentic, in just being myself, as well as speaking my truth to those I encounter in life. I have nothing to hide, in fact I have something to share so my journey and heart have been public this last year. Another conscious and thoughtful decision I made, knowing all the consequences. Even though I heard both sides of the public versus private debate, and have weighed them, I remain happy in my intentions and decisions to be public on this blog. When and if it no longer feels right in my intentions I will decide differently.

Today my truth is that in life the road forks into many divergent paths. In my youth I took the quiet, safe make everyone happy paved road. In my 50's I am taking a bumpy uncharted road. On both roads I carried with me my passion, I felt everything fully- all the good all the bad, all the tragic, all of it I felt fully and completely. Sometimes it took awhile to come to me, sometimes it over rode my sensibilities but fuck I never ever regretted living a passionate life. To seek a path is not really the matter here, what the matter is  is  did you walk down it with your passion? If you didn't, if you aren't- stop. Do it before it is too late. Take this fucking world by the tail and go for a wild ride!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

I'm moving through the dark of a long black night


It's in a song I love, it's what I am currently doing in this grief I deal with, albeit more sporadically now. Sometimes, like today the dark covers the light and I must move through. I have come to realize in this walk that it's no longer "oh I wish I had Terry back". He is gone forever and I have to (accept that?) nope, actually I am currently dealing with being resigned to it. I never asked for it and do not want it so I won't accept it, although they say that is a stage of grief you get to. I don't really believe I am ever going to get there. But I am resigned to it I guess, for now. I must live out the rest of my life without him.

So what to do about that? Well I have tried a number of things on the way to resignation. Many I have wrote about and won't get into them here again. Today I have a new realization. That it is no longer about oh I will feel better when I have someone because I am lonely and it's time, no, instead it's okay you don't have someone, we all only have ourselves, so deal. That is new. So embrace/accept/resign yourself to being a single person. Put a new set of glasses on, change your perspective, look through a new lens, see it differently. You are a singleton now. You can do what you want when you want how you want with no one to answer for. Sounds lovely doesn't it? Lets stop looking and wishing and hoping and missing.

It's not bad. I can do it. Just stop wanting. This is what happens when I do this. Terry comes back. The life we shared, his memories, how it was then, how it is now, and the grief surfaces again. I see how much I really do miss him and how this three years and a bit without him has profoundly changed me. Some good (minimally I think), most for the worse. Does this mean a drive for something other than accepting the life I am living is just another way of denying my grief for him? Fuck knows. I just know when I surrendered to stopping searching for something someone someplace else, there he was, there it was. And it was a tearful shitty shitty morning. Makes one think you can't win for losing.

So grief come on in, I welcome you with open arms, I give in, uncle. I can move through this dark of a long black night or I can try to change what can't be changed. I can't change it anymore I will just break. I am a single 55 year old women who lived the first 52 years of her life with others. I am not that person anymore, now there are no others living with me. Resign, sign the paper, just stop.

I can not figure out if this is good and if this is growth or not. Moving is good, resignation ?? ummm I guess that depends, I guess i will find out. Regardless it is what it is.

"Once I had a dream I was falling from the sky
Coming down like running water
Passing by myself alight
In the morning, I would wake to the sound of summer falls
Like little whispers through the signs
I'm moving through the dark
Of a long black night
And I'm looking at the moon
And the light it shines
But I'm thinking of a place
And it feels so very real
Oh, it was so full of love!"
   

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Free Falling



Free falling

Assured in all she can become
toes curled, poised over the edge
of a deep pool of acceptance
for all that is, was and can be
her happy delighted decisions
point to the right path

"Not a dream a plan instead"
to speak truth always
in the sacred interchanges
between all whom she is privileged
to meet. Now and through time.

In a dream, where you jump awake
and know it's time
for a change, a bold move
forward to her quiet acceptance
of this brave new world
of secret yearnings

Alive in life
in power, in spirit
In her free falling
Toward this change
She spins, sputters and recovers.


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Togetherness/Aloneness


Being with someone versus being alone. As I  traverse this journey, alone at the moment, I hesitate and reflect on the differences. There are many many things I miss by being alone. Another's touch. Another's conversation, another's quiet breathing next to you at night, the dip in the bed from their body. Another's laughter, jokes that make you laugh out loud and feel good. Gifts, I miss gifts from another, the time they take to pick it out special for you, wrap it, surprise you with it and look to you for a response in the giving. Hugs, kisses, fuck I miss kissing.

Some say being alone becomes easier, almost a way of life you get used to and comfortable with replete with perks like choosing your own movie to watch or playing your own music loud with no worry you are pissing off someone else. All that freedom to go and do whatever you want whenever you want with no one to answer to or consider. No one to have to curl your hair for, or wear your uncomfortable clothes for. No one to hear words from that hurt you.

I have thoughts about aloneness verses togetherness (especially recently when I heard a man I don't know said I have a real sadness about me). Ultimately I am a person who needs to be with others. I am an extrovert, I feed my soul around others. I am not a person who yet enjoys her own company, at least not most days. I also realize, and it is not a happy realization by any means, that I fear I will be alone until I like being alone, and worse, that I will not have sex until it doesn't matter anymore. Not that sex is the only thing about togetherness, it isn't, it is just one of the bigger things when you are alone, or for me it is. And to think that you will be without it until you don't care anymore is sad. Just one of those thoughts, like the one I had after Terry died where I feared I would forget him and our life together until it didn't matter anymore because you had to get on with living your new life. Did that man pity me or have empathy? The difference is important to me.

Is this healing from grief?

If it is I want no part of it. I do not want a life I never asked for, to become comfortable, complacent and content even happy in a choice I didn't pick for myself. I want to run from that, kicking and screaming. But you can't can you? Oh you can fill your life with empty meaningless togetherness, one night stands, friends with benefits, but that is not what I am talking about here when I speak of togetherness. I am talking about someone to cook in the big kitchen for, or to come home to them cooking for you. I am talking about fucking wanting to curl your hair for someone, and having that someone worthy of it reciprocate your feelings of wanting to be together. Togetherness, a hard task indeed, especially for a women my age. On the other hand, I think humans are incredible beings who are resilient and adaptable and able to overcome the most incredible losses and rise above their shitty life circumstances whatever they may be. But what about if you can't despite your desire and best effort?

And here is where I am stuck.

If I am totally honest with myself I am stuck, and have been for awhile now, stuck between this place of togetherness and aloneness. I fill this purgatory as best I can, albeit most days with unhealthy habits, discontent feelings and daydreaming of a better tomorrow. I hear others speaking to me through this limbo I am in with their kind words of encouragement, you will not always feel this way, you will be happy again, you will have sex again, you will find someone. But it misses the mark. These are kind but empty platitudes, a poor consolation for a warm embrace with a person you are actually together with.

Is this yearning part of healing from grief I ask?

So writer of your life story, how to set the next chapter? How does the protagonist escape her purgatory? This is where momentarily this writers block comes in. I only have experience of a year here (most of it discouraging or worse) much research is yet to be done on how this plays out. The protagonist grows weary and more discouraged with her attempts, with the passing of time, with the seeing of true togetherness in others. I will say it again-it's shameful and hard to admit, this aloneness, but pity is not the desired result. This writer is much too strong to stand pity from others, it's the worse response.  Be angry for me, hold me where I am at, but don't pity me when you see my sadness.

Until she writes out the ending to her story, maybe grief looks like just staying stuck sometimes. Holding oneself in staying stuck. So sing it to me Janice and I will listen and be happier.

"Oh sit there, ah go on, go on
And count your fingers.
I don't know what else, what else
Honey have you got to do.
And I know how you feel,
And I know you ain't got no reason to go on
And I know you feel that you must be through.
Oh honey, go on and sit right back down,
I want you to count, oh count your fingers,
Ah my unhappy, my unlucky
And my little, oh, girl blue.
I know you're unhappy,
Ooh ah, honey I know,
Baby I know just how you feel."


Saturday, 16 September 2017

Weddings and funerals

My cousin's daughter is getting married today, down here close to the cottage. Most of my children have gathered for the celebration and joy and excitement is in the air. It puts me in mind of my own wedding, my two children's weddings since Terry passed and of course funerals. Yes the whole life death cycle, it's true how closely they are connected - weddings and funerals. We've all heard the stories about how attending a funeral makes couples want to go home and fuck. How weddings bring out the best and worst in some people.

I was thinking the other day about Terry's funeral. How many people came, how I functioned in a state of semi-consciousness, how much of it I have forgotten and how much of it I never even experienced. How does that happen? Where does it go? This passing through life unaware or missing in action so to speak.

I have glimpses of that day. I believe that major life events such as these, when not fully realized or processed, get stuck in our bodies. Perhaps they come out as aches and pains, addictions, depression and even heart attacks. It's important to get it out. I have used this blog as a vehicle to heal from his death. It is true what I have recently read that we can rewrite our stories-they can heal us. I am not talking through my hat here, research backs this up and I feel it happening. So today I explore his funeral.

My first clear memory is of my sister and her group singing mine and Terry's song, Songbird. I remember walking down the aisle of the church with his ashes in my arms, their immense heaviness pulling my shoulders forward, and my children by my side. I remember my son's speech, my daughter's beautiful reading of the psalm, her beautiful tattoo on her leg glorious in color. My grand daughter Molly's soft white sweater and bouncing blond hair, like our girls hair when they were young, and how she won't remember her papa. I remember Terry's family in the row behind me, supporting me in their presence.

I am next in the church basement greeting all the people who came, they are hugging me, I am stoic, the good widow in her new black dress, heels and borrowed sheer black top to keep my arms warm. I am surprised by all the old coworkers I have not seen in years. How did they know? I marvel at all the food, who did that? I see Terry's nephew from out west who looks like a young Terry, the rock star version of him and my heart bleeds for the love we had, Terry and I, and I miss the sex so much already right there at his funeral's reception. How will I ever do without his love?

I laugh too uproariously at a joke my brother in law makes. It's a shared personal story about a time Terry's cell phone went off in the middle of a play in a tiny community theater at the most inopportune time. It reminds me of his silliness and how I'd been so embarrassed by him then and I immediately want to cry but I hang on. This is all I remember. I look at the guest book, I saw names of people I do not remember seeing there, I am sure I hugged them thanked them for coming but I don't remember. Where did I store all these lost moments of time and condolences?

Prior to the funeral my husband sister's family asked to take us all out to dinner on the night of the funeral. A real celebration, in the best restaurant in the city, they had limos to pick us up and wanted me to invite everyone I could possibly think of who I wanted there. I thought no, it's too extravagant, then I remembered Terry telling me sometimes it's in accepting gifts that we grow the most. So I agreed. I remember the limo driver holding an umbrella over my head to the car, a wickedly chilly rainy April night. I remember thinking oh what will the neighbors think? The widow heading into a stretch limo the night of her husband's funeral. I giggled inside knowing Terry would think it's funny. We had two limos meet us there. On the ride over we discovered the limo driver was named Terry, of course he was, yes we all celebrating and Terry working. It was a sign, his nod from the afterlife to us saying I am here still serving you all.

I remember that most extravagant dinner we all shared in my favorite Italian restaurant, the back room reserved only for us. Perhaps they knew my time of grief was coming but tonight we could celebrate him before that hit me. The dishes upon dishes arrived, the drinks flowed. Toasts were made to Terry, the love of all my family. The reminiscing so heartfelt. But I most clearly remember the speech by Terry's nephew, the rock star. He told me there were two Terry's, the one before he gave up drinking and the one after he met his angel. You were that angel for him. I remember this clearly, the teams brimming my eyes for the first time that day. Feeling so undeserved of his words but knowing it to be true. It was magic, it was healing-a gift for receiving something someone wanted to offer. Our waiter took this photo of us, we are all reeling from Terry's death, the grief not yet begun for me, but you can see the love of family here. It's a clear memory of that day that I wish to carry. It was a celebration. Almost like a wedding - filled with love - during a funeral.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Girlfriends





What would you do if you had no friends? I was thinking about this today and counting my blessings about all the wonderful girlfriends I have had over my lifetime.  I am talking here about girlfriends. I don't believe your kids should be your best friends, I could never tell my kids what I tell my best friends, and it puts too much pressure on a parent child relationship. I don't even believe your spouse should be your best friend, maybe a unpopular opinion but it's mine. I think you need that "other" to bounce stuff off of, to be a sounding board to help see a tree in a forest so to speak. Spouse's are life partners and lovers and loves not best friends. Terry was not my best friend and I'll wager a bet he was glad I had best friends, he loved how I would come back from a night with them all settled and happy. My sister's were my best friends in my early years, my twin even now. Some girlfriends came into my life only for a purpose, we shared our lives and circumstances for that brief moment in time and they departed never to be seen from again. Some I work with or worked with in the past. Some are active close -all the time- friends who I rely on almost daily. They know everything, all the minutiae all what you are about and what you are going through. What they offer, man it is hard to put into words but I will try.

You get excited when you know you are going to see them, you feel withdrawal when a week has gone by without seeing them, you feel like you are living at home with a family again when they are around because they know so much about you. You have a history so you can unsay so much, yet still feel totally understood. They always boost my confidence, make me feel like I am a good person worthy of all good things life has to offer, and the sweet part is they feel this even when I don't. Oh that is a wonderful thing. To have your own cheering crowd when you personally feel like you have nothing to cheer about. My girlfriends make me laugh, real belly laughs, all those inside jokes. And then there is all that sex talk that just makes you squeal with delicious delight and laughter because they so get it. They don't make you blush or feel stupid just the opposite they make you feel alive and normal. They help you figure it out, they are in your corner with you, their advice has no hidden motives. I do not know why I am so blessed, I feel they give way more to me than I could ever hope to give back.

They share the bad with you too, I have a friend Cindy who made a decision to come to my house the night Terry died and she never left figuratively. Cindy's strong suit is being a friend, it's her talent, her passion. Coming that night was not an easy thing to do, but this chick has been by my side since then. Through all the pain, grief, growth and change in my life since he died, sitting by while I cried and told the same story over and over, she made that decision to be there. I didn't ask her, oh I needed her but I didn't have to ask, this is the type of friends I have. I have a friend that is so damn funny, she knows just what to say to make me break out into raucous laughter, and it's clever - oh so clever her wit.  One friend I have known almost 42 years, and we still meet and chat, she now family and we have all those moments in time to reminisce, all that herstory. Recently I started finding male friends, a whole new perspective and dynamic, but fun, so much to learn because I have never had male friends, not outside of my girlfriend's spouses.

What would I do without them in my life? I do not know. I might not be here to know. I have pushed people away, been so angry and depressed I couldn't stand myself yet my friends stood by, thank fuck! I read somewhere that social support is one of the key indicators for surviving a loss and a life crisis. Not money, not a job, not a good therapist, but social support. Are you loved, are you cared for, are they there at the ready for you when you need them? Where my friends are concerned the answer to this is yes yes yes.

What would you do without friends? If I look backward I still remember my first girlfriend, Donna, she shaped a lot of my budding personality between the age of 10-13, some of it good, some bad. She was the first girl I found my imagination with, my love of writing bloomed from her, the first girl I saw naked, the first I saw drunk, the first I smoked with, the first to betray me (none of this sexual by the way). As I look forward I think as we get older, there will come a time when we won't have any new friends who will know us as long as our current friends do. It gets harder as you get older to be out there in the world making friends. We become a little bit more insular more greedy with our time as we age. I can't imagine meeting a new girlfriend and knowing her for 42 years (I won't live that long most likely). I know people who do not make friends any more because their time is running out. That is sad. I want to always have friends, my old ones, my new ones I have yet to meet. I relish in the joy I had and have with my girls, always. I thank the universe for them, I am so blessed because of them. Who else can bring up a topic of discussion that goes on for three hours until it's covered to death, the lesson learned, the world made right again and you sent off into it to flourish?

What would you do without friends- I never want to know.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

I had a question



I had a question, left open to stew
yet, I have forgotten it
but it lingers, ever present there in the mind
it taunts me from below the surface

I seek and search for it
in essences of human gestures and words
I try to look quick into the 
periphery of life to catch it unaware

Still it eludes me, this question
perfect in meaning and grammar
sitting there on my tongue's tip
that perfect question, unremembered

Like a light bulb beside my head
dimming in the waiting for her
to get it, to ask it, to answer
all of it's unconscious yearning

Patiently I wait for it to come
in a dream, another world of understanding
this perfect life question
this perfect life answer

 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Autenticity


When we do something new or foreign it is scary, this is at least always my first default feeling. Unknown territory holds so much unknown everything doesn't it? I hesitant, then jump, free in that fall-into-obscurity for the time being. Perfectly innocent to ramifications and repercussions, authentic in spirit. It's a grand feeling this brave new world you risk for. Be it learning how to drive a standard, the fun to get the pedals performing in sync, the terror of the roll backward into traffic, the embarrassment of the stall when you pop the clutch, the glee when you push her into fifth on the open road. Or the adventure to a foreign country to meet new people riding the jet engines into takeoff on that most precarious first 10,000 feet into the clouds, bumpy, slightly vertical, that sinking feeling as the engine adjusts and you wonder if free fall is next. Uncharted pure and hopefully anticipation of the new experience.

Lately, I have been pondering authenticity. In my words, in my actions, in my journey forward. It's not as scary anymore to step into newness when you have authentic motives (can you even have authentic motives?, isn't authenticity just that -authentic. No motives?) no bullshit, no underlying hidden agendas, no good or bad intentions- just authentic you. True to self you. In my past I covered up a lot, I questioned myself and others in everything I did or said or thought, looking for meaning and purpose. When you don't know yourself well you don't know how to be, you fake your way through, but when you are self aware you know how to be and better yet, you want to be authentic in all new things you venture out into. At least this is what I believe. However, saying that I have also come to know that just because I believe something doesn't make it true. Let's just say it's as true as I can be today, my authentic self does not fake it's way through, it does not lie or live in false pretenses.

So what about venturing again in the dating world in this authentic way? What about encounters with those who are not? And the lesson to learn from this? Because hey I am always looking for a lesson. In this new dating life, before I took a much needed break, I encountered men who told me they loved me three days into a dating scenario. Does this mean they were lying when they broke up with me a few days later because I was "too different"? I met men who said they wanted a second date and never called again or ignored mine, I met men who said the sweetest things only to then say the nastiest hurtful things that would curl my hair without the rollers.  I have known men who lied their way right to the latest possible second where they couldn't anymore-their sham revealed- and then they asked for me to listen to their explanation! Ummmmmwtf  ???

Authenticity. Where is it and why is it so hard to find? In this new world where we we can hide behind screens and words, in a world of fake news and "inauthentic accounts" there is a whole generation who do not know the meaning of true face to face honesty. I have been there, I get it, it's hard to be totally honest especially if it is going to maybe hurt someone's feelings. I guess I am at a point in my life where I realize that inauthentic words and actions are hurtful in and of themselves, and only to yourself.  I was talking to a dear friend last night about being who we are and where we are at in our lives in a face to face conversation. Fuck it was so freeing to discuss this under no pretense, no hidden agendas. This is what I have come to know in my years of knocks and life samskaras, and it has made me stronger, not weaker -be authentic first, let that always be my first intention.

As I head back into this journey of dating and as I meet new people I will not put my heart back under my sleeve, I will say how I feel even if it means rejection, I will surround myself with authentic souls to learn from them. Is it scary? Sure it is, I will meet more inauthentic men but I know I will recognize them sooner, I will grower even stronger with each encounter. Luckily, I will remain friends with those who are authentic. And yes I await this journey-as my authentic self.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Selfless


This weekend seven of my dearest cousins and my brother-in-law gave up their Saturday of the long weekend to build a deck for me. They worked their butts off to create a thing of beauty with nails, wood and concrete blocks. Selfless creativity at it's finest. Not only does this give me a practical platform to have my morning coffee on, to gaze into the crystal clear ocean bottom below, to catch the sunrise and sunset and moonlight on each day and night for now until the rest of my years, but it gave me insight again into being cared for and how that feels. To have a community of individuals all come together and do this for the sole purpose of making me happy blows my mind. That they did this, although they gained no benefit from it themselves, except to hopefully feel good and get a warm fuzzy because they were selfless for a day towards someones greater good- awes me.

I will be enjoying this deck, me, my kids, their families, my friends and people I love, will benefit for years from that one day they all sacrificed. I wonder if they thought of that when they were hammering away, lifting lumber and concrete blocks, measuring and using their power tools? I wonder if they knew the true extent of their selflessness? Do people who are selfless know they are? Is it inherent in their makeup and they just go about their lives doing and not considering the impact, or do they know and choose this because it makes their heart happy? Terry used to tell me he got way more out of helping others than they got. I wonder. I do not consider myself a selfless person, I wish I had more of that gene in me but I fear I do not. Oh I do things for my family and I do so lovingly and willingly - but am I getting something in return? Usually yes I would have to say. Even if it is to allay some guilt or make myself feel better the motivation is often not pure selfless intent. I think that is very hard to do, at least for me it has been. I wish it was different but I have to say if I am truly honest my intentions first go toward what I want and desire or what will make me feel something I want to feel instead of pure selfless intent toward another.  Exceptions exist of course.

To be a recipient of selfless intent feels awesome and inspiring, it makes me strive to be a better person, to try harder to consider others before myself and to feel what others might gain by my intention or action rather than any feeling I might acquire as a result. Oh so many times I strike out but it keeps me honest-these foibles of mine. They keep me seeking for correctness and a more selfless attitude. I don't take life's lessons lightly anymore. Each misstep leads to wisdom and knowledge in myself and the world around me. Each oh I need to try harder or oh I fucked up that time is a valuable lesson to do it right next time. Because you see as I age I know there might not be a next time to make it right. So on this special Saturday as I was the recipient of selfless action I tried to express my gratitude in the only way I could. By being delighted and overwhelmed with joy and happiness, (do they realize how hard it has been for me to come by these feelings over the last few years? And because of what they did they gave me that gift? Maybe, maybe not) by thanking through food and drink, by smiling and sending positive loving thoughts to each and every one of them as they sacrificed their day for me.

When we all gathered on the finished deck to christen it at days end in the sunshine, one of my cousins wives said to me "this is so good this is so right". Maybe she got it. Terry would have loved this selfless Saturday, he was a very selfless person, also a builder of decks. If he has a way to know he'd of been smiling on us all.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Our Milky Way and lonliness


This beautiful cluster of stars and dust and matter that is our milky way galaxy. It is so incredible hanging out there alone at night in a sky filled with a billion stars, planets and other galaxies. Sometimes we get the pleasure of seeing it in it's full grandeur, when the moon decides to sleep and the location you happen to be in has no light pollution, sadly, some people I've heard have never seen it. I have had the good fortune to clearly see the milky way every summer for about the last five years. I have happened upon it on those special nights and been able to have my lens capture even more if it. To think that it has been there for eons and eons of time is amazing, yet in my short life span I have only enjoyed it for five years. Enjoyed it is a bit of a understatement. I am captivated and in awe of it, the darker the sky, the more my eyes adjust, the more perfect the timing and position of it and I am left stunned, mesmerized and unable to look away. The energy I feel always keeps me awake and I hate to leave it. All those years I missed out, sitting inside instead of out- I can't regret that, I can only change it from here forward and ensure I visit it and capture it's likeness as often as possible. It's like a little secret affair I am having with it and I can't wait for the next visit.

As much as I love the milky way and gazing upon it, it causes me to feel lonely. I know kinda of silly isn't it? And a bit hard to describe this feeling. Maybe it has to do with the infinitesimal amount of  stars in the beautiful galaxy, each one shining alone yet together in the cluster. It reminds me of a world full of people and me alone with them. Maybe it has to do with the night I first saw the milky way clearly on a hot early July weekend at the cottage.  It was late friday night, 1030 ish and my sister and her husband and my two youngest kids were heading over to the back beach to shoot the stars. I had asked terry to come, begged him, saying come on honey it's dark skies come on it will be fabulous. He opted out, too tired from work that day. I will never forget when I stepped out of the woods and onto the beach and it was just hanging there low in the sky, darkish red from the warm day, a glow to it and all its shadows visible shining like lucy in the sky with diamonds! It took my breath away, I wanted to cry, I think I did , I said oh my god look at it just look at it! I could almost reach up and touch it I swear. I thought "how had I never seen this before"? And immediately after that "oh Terry is not here to see it with me". Perhaps that is why I am lonely when I see it, he never will see it with me, like he didn't then. Or perhaps I just wish I now had a love to see it with, like all my family around me does.

Oh I have my shining stars close by don't get me wrong and I am grateful, where would I be without them? But I am my own person now in the seven billion on this planet. It is not really about seeing the milky way without a someone to share it with, I do share it with them, it's about lonliness in general and what a fuck bag of shame that causes. It is a shameful thing to be lonely, a hard thing to admit, and it is looked down upon by society-yes it's a shameful thing to be and feel lonely. Not to be alone ( many times that is good and a relief and even a worthy thing if you are holding out for one worthy of your love, it's something we even brag about, this aloneness) no, I am talking here about lonliness, wanting that relationship- not having it yet but wanting it and feeling lonely as a result-that is shameful to others, they pity you. I do not know what to do with this underserved shame but to write it out.

I am one person living my life-not a couple anymore. Not married or dating or engaged or courted by anyone. Now there is a old fashioned word, one my daughter brought up the other day on our drive home from the cottage. I was asking her advice on how she stayed single for five years and then found the right person. It's a topic I am interested in right now so we were chatting away about it, me wanting the inside scoop in how the millenials are doing it.  She said her and Andrew had decided to "court" one another when they first met. So I asked her what she meant by this and she said, it was a mutually agreed upon exclusive dating trial at getting to know one another to see if they wanted to go on to have a serious relationship. I congratulated her for being so smart. No games, no casual sex with friends or strangers cause your horney, no moving too quick, just old fashioned lets court one another and see where this goes.  We can learn things from our youngins.

Which brings me to what I learned. I may be alone, I may have many days, months even years of lonliness to come. I may hate it, I may feel society's shame over it. That is just the way it is right now.  Just because I want a partner doesn't mean I will have one. There may be many more summers of seeing the milky way without holding hands with someone to love and share the experience with. Even if that doesn't happen, even if that is not okay, that just is what it is.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Mothers and daughters


We all have one so on some level we all relate to mothers. My mother was my first female influence, my first love. She set the groundwork of all future relationships I was to have with females and males. As a child I looked to my mom for all I needed; love, nurturing, guidance, lessons in how to be female in the world and thus how to love, nurture and guide others. My first memory involves my mom, her telling me in a sweet voice, with love in her heart for me that I still feel on a cellular level, to go see what she had for me in a drawer in my bedroom. It was a red and green stuffed horse she had made for me, a gift to give up my sookie for. I was four years old. What a wonderful first memory to have. My mom gave me advice when I was a young mother. On all she could she offered her wisdom, most I ignored or at worst didn't appreciate, and I always felt welcomed in the home of my youth with my children. To mind comes a time when I was carrying my first child Justin, seven months pregnant, severely depressed and turning 21, she made me come over to her house for my cake when I didn't want to. It was a most beautifully decorated cake with silver beads and buttercream icing. A soothing salve for a suffering mom to be. I have the picture, it both destroys me (to see the pain I went through) and uplifts me (that cake made with love for me). I knew my mom loved me. I still do.

Relationships with mothers can be fraught with angst and emotional land mines, and I believe more so relationships between mothers and daughters. Who else do we need to hear our pleas and have a more heartfelt need for love from, than the first person we had a relationship with - one that started from the moment we as an infant gazed upon them at our birth? Who do we need to understand and accept us more than our mothers? I feel home when my mom understands and gets me, when she has heard me and accepts who I am unconditionally.  I have more and more moments like this with my mom now that I am approaching a time when I realize my mom will not be around forever anymore - like I once used to pray for as a little child.  As I face my mom's mortality, as we both age, I clutch onto these little gem connections, these moments that touch my heart. She does not know this is happening, most times I remain silent taking it in, not disturbing the feeling with words unable to express it's relevance. She does not know that my consciousness just filed away a little piece of her for safe keeping, for when I will need it after she is gone. I am relieved the hard times are over between us, those times we were apart, those times I didn't appreciate her sacrifices and love for me.

Life being one of those full circle kind of things, as a mom myself I have seen the look of love on my girls faces when I "get them" that instant well of tears, that hitch in the heart and the look of acknowledgement between our eyes that connects. For me it is a connecting of that infant child bond from way back when I carried their soul in mine like a beautiful secret.  These connections usually happen over little things, a phrase, a hug, a small gesture of help. These sweet spots of life that keep mother and daughter relationships strong and deep, I treasure as much as the ones between me and my own mom. I have also seen the pain and hurt on their faces, in their eyes when I miss the mark and that bond is temporarily broken. Last night my daughter mentioned something in passing about what she hoped for and needed from me and did not get, it felt like my heart was shredding.  She does not know this feeling because she is not a mother, she without the responsibility and burden of a charge, knows not what I felt. Again I could not express my sorrow enough, so I remained silent. Instead I take these lessons in and hold them close hopeful I can move forward without failing her again.

As a daughter I have spent much of my life trying to break from the mother daughter bond and become an independent being. The love hate struggle that peaks in teenage years, settles in midlife and comes around to it's beginnings when I see her age and I start to mother her now. As a mother, I now watch my daughters doing it, the dance of pull and push, grasp and release. I yearn to do it all correctly yet all the while not knowing what is correct. Do I grasp or do I let go?  I grieve for the sorrow my daughters go through, their pain I feel, it keeps me awake tossing at night. I want to make it right for them to prevent them from feeling the bad and I cannot. They will have to find their way in their own time, me the watcher. I am present but removed in that I can't make them learn a lesson they have to learn, here mine being the lesson of restraint. It is painful to watch, like the mother duck I saw online waiting for her ducklings to be rescued from a storm drain, powerless to pull them out of the swirl. I can only hold when they want to be held, enfold my arms around them and kiss their foreheads tell them I love them, I am here, I will help.

Today in this strange land of mother daughter bonds I find my footsteps retracing from her to them, from them to me and back to her again.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Where will you be in 5 years?





That standard question that gets asked on interviews, well maybe not anymore due to the present workforce being so fluid and mobile, do employers still expect them to be around in 5 years, let alone increasing in their industriousness, production and ambition? I always figured that was the reason they asked the question, to kinda test is this a keeper or not, one who can see the big picture, who is all in and there for the long haul. I wonder if they still ask it? Sounds like it would be pretty easy to answer; just throw around something like you see yourself in 5 years as “expert in the field you are applying for”, maybe tell them you are planning on a Master’s degree in that area to enhance what you can give to and do for the company etc. yadda yadda. It has been a long time since I have been asked that question, but I was asked it on my job interview many years ago. I did say a master’s degree and I did get it - it took 7 years, (so sue me I was two years late). I am not the ambitious type, not in my work life, I am a follower not a leader. That is okay, we all have our strengths. But I do commit to the long haul, being an "all in" kinda girl I have been at NShealth for 20 years.

I love asking myself this question about my personal life. When I do it helps me to gauge where I am at in my life’s journey. Sometimes I have answered, “no fucking where that’s where” and shut that little questioner in me down bloody quick. That is usually when I see no hope for my future or I don’t want to look at it. After a death you feel this, it’s just way too painful to look beyond the seconds and the minutes of unbearable grief and it takes much time to heal enough to be able to look into the future, especially years into the future. But I have been asking myself this question lately. Where do you see yourself in 5 years Sussey? So I think about my answer. Today I feel pretty confident in the answers I would give me the interviewer, but as I know life is in a constant state of flux and tomorrow I may have to come up with a whole new set of answers. Currently, here a few things I do see about where I will be in 5 years.

I will be retired, I will not be working the ole 8-4 anymore. Oh I’m way too young to not work, it just won’t be this work. It will be working my creativity – writing, photography and who knows what else I will love to do that is new and creative, but I will be working on that. (sometimes for pay so I can take those skills into the Tuscan countryside once a year). Yes I can accomplish this in 5 years, sure I can.

I will still have my Pax. I take care of him well with his food and medical checkups, he’ll only be 10. He will be a little slower getting the Frisbee, graying around the whiskers but he’ll still be laying around on his bed and mine in those weird contortions he puts his furry body into and making me laugh. I think I have 5 more years to be able to give him lots of my love. I see that.


Spending time at my cottage by the sea, my serenity acre. The space all finished and inviting and warm and beautiful with breezy afternoons to feel the ocean and sparkling water to gaze upon. My hard work today will pay off over these next 5 years as I sit and sleep and enjoy my time with my wonderful friends at that special space. It’s a big part of where I am going to be over the next 5 years for sure.

I will enjoy cooking and be able to do it for myself. I will eat right, I will feel like I deserve to. I will feel a comfort in the kitchen that I have not felt in many many years. I won’t be afraid to get groceries. (I notice I am not expanding on this one??) It may be the one I fudge on in the interview.

I will be with someone who loves me and whom I can love. This is a new and pleasing thought to have, I don’t know how or when this will happen but hey I’m gonna put it out there. I deserve love and have lots to offer so why the fuck not. I guess just thinking about being in this place when the 5 years from now question is asked, is growth, because after Terry died, I always saw myself well into late life having to live it alone and lonely. I don’t believe that anymore. I can have a lasting love. I can do this (sans fucking POF) in the next 5 years, sure I can.

I will be able to accept loss, disappointment, pain and hardships (both my past and future ones) much easier 5 years from now. Having been there done that and got the sweatshirt, pants and winter coat, I am learning. There is much more to learn over the next 5 years I am sure but, I seem to be a wide open pupil in this area, so I know the acceptance of this only becomes easier. In fact, sometimes I amaze myself at how calmly I can accept big disappointment and pain now. I also see myself 5 years wiser in 5 years. In this area we don’t go backwards, only forward. I believe that. Wisdom, that lovely gift of age, will be mine. I have earned it.


I’d hire her.