The love of my fate …


I have three books that I’m currently reading and today I picked one up titled I Believe: When What You Believe Matters by Eldon Taylor.  I found a passage that jumped out at me and I read it again and again. It’s a story Joseph Campbell tells about Freidrich NIstzsche.

“At a certain moment in Nietzsche’s life, the idea came to him of what he called “the love of your fate.” Whatever your fate is, whatever the heck happens, you say, “This is what I need.” It may look like a wreck but go through it as though it were an opportunity or a challenge.

If you bring love to that moment–not discouragement– you will find the strength is there. Any disaster that you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking a back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true.

IMG_3570As I read this, I looked back at those moments when my life was in total chaos and relived the wreckage that surrounded me. I don’t think the words “This is what I need” ever crossed my mind but over time I realize I did need it. I needed a clear ending. I needed focus. I needed to let go. I needed to cry. I needed to heal. And with the help of friends and family, I found the strength.

The trouble is, when you are in that moment, it’s hard to see the pieces of your shattered life as an opportunity or challenge. You mainly see failure and loss.

And yet, standing here and looking back I understand it was an opportunity to choose a new path. And over time, I picked up what I needed from the wreckage and redefined me.

The love of my fate…

I Believe: When what you believe matters by Eldon Taylor
Joseph Campbell – Reflections on the Art of Living

Letting Dreams Go


Rustic Rocky Mountain Log Cabin - Can't you just smell the wood fire burning?

Rustic Rocky Mountain Log Cabin – Can’t you just smell the wood fire burning?

I always dreamed about having a mountain home. It won’t happen. I can rent one for a week and enjoy the crisp early morning air, take long walks, make campfires and fly fish to my heart’s content – – but not in my mountain home. And that’s ok. Not only is it ok, it takes a huge weight off my shoulders. If I did own the home, it would be alll the other stuff too — the mortgage payments, concern about forest fires, insurance, fees, winter preparation, utility payments, and on and on.

I feel ok with letting it go. I’ve released many hopes and dreams over my lifetime and replaced them with new ones.

Currently, I am sitting in a yard surrounded by all shades of green. I have privacy, can see the sky and totally enjoy my new environment. My plan began with emptying out my clutter, recycling items, and preparing to leave one home and move into another. Step by step, I released belongings, painted, dusted, and prepared for my departure. I was so ready to move I could taste it. Once here, it took several months to paint, brighten, update, renovate, and recreate my home. I let go of the mountain home and now embrace my city home.

Growing up, I didn’t have a list of goals and achievements I wanted to accomplish. I just went with the flow and found my way after I landed. I learned to be a wife, figured out how to be a mom, worked at various jobs, returned to school, found more jobs and lived in a piecemeal world. I never saw the big picture and how I would make my way through it. I just did it, maybe by instinct or happenstance or just plain luck.

Oh, yeah, about that luck… no such thing for me. My luck came in the form of family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and even strangers. My luck is a give and take — a phone call, a hug, a card, fresh picked flowers, a dinner here and there — I am not just the receiver of this luck. I give it and I receive it.  My luck is a community event.

Why am I going on and on? (That really is not rhetorical, I forgot…)

marge and sophie

Making new friends along the way!

Oh yeah – dreams. We all know people who are living their dreams. There is a sense of contentment around them. My new dream is not a dream at all. It’s a reality that is in the process of unfolding. It includes living in a city, making new friends, becoming connected and finding a support system. Like the physical move, my plan takes many steps. Getting visible, attending functions, volunteering, making conversation, offering help, asking questions and putting myself ‘out there.’

Can you see my smile?

What made us friends in the long ago?


Years ago I bought a card that had a poem on it. I kept the card and memorized the poem. Today I dedicate it to a dear friend as a birthday poem, a friendship poem and words that will hopefully make you and all my readers smile.

hollyhock4All my love to you, Dahling…

What made us friends in the long ago
When we first met?
Well, I think I know.
The best in you and the best in me
Hailed each other because we could see
That always and ever
Since time began,
Our being friends was part of the plan.

George Webster Douglas ~

chair

Moments matter


aspen in steamboatRobin Williams died this week.  He was suffering in ways we never knew. He was hurting and in pain. We didn’t know and if we did, we couldn’t help him.

There are so many people – friends and family and neighbors and colleagues who are also struggling right now. They are in a bad state because of their health, finances, marriage issues, job status, money struggles, addictions, fears and frets. These people are within range and can be reached. We have to reach out and say those magical word …”I’ve been thinking about you.” Then we need to just be quiet.  We can make a difference.

hollyhock3I can’t take the pain away that someone is feeling but I can be there for them when they need to talk. I can’t get those people through the dark night but I can hold their hand as they wade through the sludge.

I believe we are surrounded by people with stories – some are huge and over the top amazing stories! Most are everyday stories about average people just figuring it out. Some are about black-footed ferrets, tennis lessons, vegetable gardens, and others are about medications, health problems, loneliness and struggles. They are only uncovered when we take time to let others tell their stories.  Some people will gush with the chance to share and others will let their stories out bit by bit.

It’s about acknowledging the other person at the table, on the bus, in line at the store, in the other car, on the phone, at the drive-thru. Simple, really and on the surface pretty basic stuff, but the end result can be so much more. Sometimes there’s a sigh or a smile.

 

He made me laugh.

purple chair

SUMMER HAS A WAY    


It’s been my understanding that summer has a way of taking over my life. Whether I am busy hiking, walking, working, making new friends, visiting neighbors, working on my lawn, reading, writing, riding my bike or just watching the clouds go by – I find that sometimes I lift my head and days have flown by. It’s past the middle of July and I’ve yet to catch my breath!

amazing weather for flowersThe weather has been most wonderful – lots of afternoon rain and therefore humidity in the air which feels refreshing, not stifling and heavy.  Last night, rain woke me up two different times and then this morning the air was damp, chilly and inviting. As a kid, I remember going to the local beach and getting there first thing in the morning – in time to make bacon and eggs over the grill. That damp, wet feeling mixed with the smell of food over an open fire was  in the front of my memories when I stepped into my backyard today.

I’ve read a bunch of books and have hardly watched any television. There’s just no time. And as you can attest, I’ve had little ‘sit in the chair time’ when I normally blog.

red flower1I did most of my traveling in May and June which allows me to enjoy the summer like never before. Summer has a way of forcing me to get on trails and hike, to take photos, to care for my garden, to get my priorities in order.

And, did I mention the shades of green? Dark evergreen, bright green aspen leaves, deep green lilac leaves, healthy green lawn. For now – Green is my favorite color!

I’m enjoying summer this year more than ever before. It took me awhile to accept that spring was over and summer was indeed here and now I am loving it. I am requesting more rain, afternoon clouds, just a bit of heat (here and there), lots of sunshine (duh, it is COLORADO!) and the piece of mind to enjoy it all. (My spell checker wants me to write ‘peace of mind’ and maybe I should!)

Until the next time – Enjoy!

 

A Sense of Optimism About Humanity


GenerativityThe local newspaper is delivered to me 4x each week. When I get it, I read it all. That includes the obituaries. The thing is, I am new to this town so it’s not like back home where every other day someone I know or am related to is dying or dead (or being born or getting married…)

So, this obituary was two columns wide and really long. Lots of words.  A photo of a very pretty lady. The words were very poetic and magical. I think they were her words. She talked about the family grocery, then a paragraph was devoted to her ‘beloved’ father, her steps that took her to the nunnery until that didn’t feel right anymore. Then her quest next led to graduate school… The next quarter of a century she conducted basic research in neuroscience and eventually retired as Professor Emerita. She started her own business, spoke, wrote, published books and so much more.

I did not know this woman but I wish I had.  She lived a colorful life and in the end requested the following: In lieu of flowers, and in recognition of the generativity which coursed through her life, the family requests that those wishing to honor her pay kindness forward to three other individuals.

Why I read this, why it touched a cord, why I kept it, the article, why I had to write about it? Even in death, this woman is giving to others by asking us to reach out and pay something forward as a gift to her.  If only a handful of her family or “groundswell of devoted friends” as the obituary read reached out and paid a kindness forward then her essence lives on. And if each person paid it forward THREE times then the world would be a bit easier for someone, for no real reason.

She’s gone, right? And yet she created a web of web of giving. That she can do that in her death makes me wonder what crusades and undertakings she accomplished prior to departing.

I know we all have our own stories and nobody really knows the story of the person next to them – but if there were some way to know more – count me in.

So, what is it I don’t know about you? What is the event, illness, struggle, joy, friendship or woe that got you to this very place in time? For many, it was the turning point in our lives. For others it might be a goal that was reached and lessons learned along the way. This beautiful, wonderful woman had TONS of stories –  and this is just one more. 

generativity (google dictionary) In Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development, generativity is a struggle against stagnation that ascends during adulthood.
in the psychosocial sense refers to the concern for establishing and guiding the next generation and is said to stem from a sense of optimism about humanity.

 Related articles

People will never forget how you made them feel


IN May, I hit the ground running and finally in early June I finished with my travels. Home in time to mow, weed and get prepared for summer. Home in time to breathe in the last of the lilac blooms, smell the wild roses and plant tomatoes.

On one of my trips I had the opportunity to sit in a first grade classroom in Carson City, NV during thpeople will never forgete last week of school.

On this very special day, the teacher awarded certificates to his students to highlight their unique qualities.  There was thoughtfulness and caring put into the awards. Some parents were present to watch and enjoy the ceremony. Some awards were over the heads of most of the students but they were told to go home and research the award if they wanted to learn more.

One girl received the Susan B Anthony award. Susan B. Anthony was very famous woman because she help free slaves and she help women get more power , she was told … “and you are like her because you are always helping and reaching out to be friends to others in this class.”

Thomas Edison award was handed out to a young boy who “hears instructions then does things his own way.” Another student received the Neil Degrasse Tyson award because she ‘asked questions that stumped the teacher’ and gave an insight into her thought process and intelligence. She was urged to research the award and learn more on her own.

A young girl, dressed with a huge pink flower in her hair and contemporary glasses was giving the Broadway Star award. “Broadway is a street in NYC where there are famous plays and theater. It seems to me that you like to be the center of attention, isn’t that right?” With a nod and a smile, her answer was a clear yes.

With each award, there was a lesson about famous people, what qualities the first grader had in common with that person and the uniqueness of the student. This teacher took some attributes that others would scorn and applauded them. The Presidential Award was handed to a student because of her leadership qualities. Some might say she was bossy in the classroom and yet, this ceremony focused on her best qualities and praised them. Another student received the Isaac Newton award because he was able to look at things and question instructions which helped everyone around him.

The Maya Angelou award was given to a student because of her writing style and her kindness. The Student of the Year award was handed to a student who joined the classroom later and still was able to join in and catch up. The John Grisham award, the Martin Luther King Jr award and on and on…

One student was told, “you are so smart” and then the teacher addressed the entire group of twenty and said – “You are all very smart students, you know that, don’t you?” then he turned back to the student in front of him and said, “you seem to understand what I am saying right away and can figure it out pretty quickly.” The piece of paper addressed their intelligence, kindness, curiosity, awareness, friendship, leadership, personality, wit and other personal attributes unique to each of them.

For one brief moment in time the spotlight was shining on them individually. It was the most precious thing I’ve ever seen and I am sure most students will hold on to the way they felt at that moment in time for decades to come.

I must tell you, this teacher is my son. I listened and sat in awe during this ceremony. I felt proud and happy for these kids who were each given a precious gift. I commented afterwards that “nobody ever told me I was smart” and this comment as shared like this …”Class, my mom just told me that nobody ever told her she was smart when she was in the first grade. But she’s one of the smartest people I know, just like you.”

It was an amazing experience in so many ways. i was honored to be there. And so very proud.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

Enhanced by Zemanta