Doc on the go
Doc on the go
A Tangled Snarl of Yarn
Death is like that, all tangled up in emotions and logistics.
Death is raw. Death cracks you open like a pod with a bud bursting forward under enormous pressure. Its timing is perfect. Death is raw and kind, at least to the one who is passing.
As for those of us left behind, its both bittersweet and gut-wrenching; yanking one's insides into a hot, heaving, sobbing puddle. Looking sideways, head on the floor, wondering where I will find the strength to stand up again. Let alone sit up, eat and drink.
Grief passes over me like a tsunami, carrying shards of debris, leaving in its wake a scattered dump yard of memories. Each one is more tender than the last, for #death has blessedly removed most of the hurtful remembrances.
My fall is cushioned by the #love of my friends, angels, and high soul. Many lessons learned, including attachment to people and things and memories. Finding and reclaiming my divinity and my voice to stand alongside the passageway to the divine. Holding my ground while others try to impede the flow and take hostage that which needs to pass through the doors to eternal love.
Thank you, uncle Jimmy, for calling me to you in this time of high personal transition. I am blessed and honored to have walked you to the doors of eternity. In my sadness, I have grown stronger. In my #grief, I have glimpsed eternity.
Like sunsets, the light grows dim and the sky reflects a masterful life full of colors. Just like transitions, it can only be enjoyed, can't be held onto, and it changes every second as it grows closer to the darkness. It becomes more vibrant, casting its final picture upon the palette we call #life.
Use all of your senses this holiday season!
Holiday Hack #1
Create pleasant aromas
Apple cider in a crockpot
Potpourri in bathrooms
Lavender in bedrooms
Flowers from Safeway or your garden!
Holiday Hack #2
Focus on others:
Focus on company and practice gratitude for friends
Include the “singles” in your day who may otherwise not have a place to go
Volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen
Be a Secret Santa and leave a Starbucks snack on someone's bed on the streets
Visit that person who can’t get out of their house and may be lonely
Holiday Hack #3
Clean out the garage (to make room for the new stuff - refer back to my decluttering blogs!)
Toss out the old wrapping paper/decorations/old cards
Holiday Hack #4
Decorate decorate decorate!
Clear off countertops
Toss the rest of the clutter in the closet for the Holiday Day celebration
Watch old movies
Holiday Hack #5
Watch all the original Christmas cartoons
Give yourself a foot bath
Make a rice sock “buddy” for your neck
Holiday Hack #6
Have healthy snacks on hand like protein, veggies, and fruit
Drink water, tea, and more water
Holiday Hack #7
Walk the dog
Walk the relatives
Go to the beach
Walk in nature
Holiday Hack #8
To the moon, stars, sun, ocean, rain, sky, the redwoods, the air, earth and all the creatures in Heaven and on Earth
Have a marvelous Holiday Season!
I want to be in my own kayak. Yes, I want my own kayak. I don’t want a seat in double kayaks anymore.
You can pull your kayak up next to mine but I am responsible for my own kayak. I may need to ask for help to stay afloat at times from other paddlers. There is safety in numbers.
Today, I have my own kayak. I get to be the one asking and deciding questions like these:
Am I taking on water (too much stuff on my plate)?
How am I taking on water?
Am I in rough waters?
If you are like a lot of us, I was not trained to take care of my own vessel. Self care is something you don’t get training on. I was trained to take care of others. I’m realizing that taking care of others instead of taking care of myself no longer works. It’s the saying “put your own oxygen mask on first”. I get it.
I, now, have a new tool kit that takes care of my vessel, my boat, my self care. The compass is my spiritual direction. The ropes are my connections to others. The paint is the face I show to the outside world. I keep the paint in good shape. I bring my boat in for daily, weekly and periodic maintenance.
I chart my own course today. I love my boat. I love the sea. I want to shore up my boat so I can explore new horizons. That’s my job today. To take care of my boat!
I can start to take care of myself by making 3 healthy choices for myself each day.
Self care takes about 4 hours a day. Two in the morning and 2 in the evening.
I have choices and I can make choices for me. #selfcare
As I was decluttering my kitchen, I was reminded also of the holidays as they are right around the corner. I remembered the smells emanating out of the kitchen, the sounds of kitchen wizardry and the feeling of possibility.
Holidays were a whirlwind of food prep, crisis house cleaning and bonding with our friends and cousins as we rallied against “the adults”. Many a holiday night were spent sneaking out of the house, running the streets and hiding in the trees. We used to explore and hide all over the UC Berkeley campus – the very institution my mother and her friends fought against to preserve the city parks for their children and in the end won the battle.
It’s amazing the memories sitting and decluttering in one’s kitchen bring up as I go through each drawer. I think of my mother now as she sits most of the time, like the Buddha she loves and breathes the present moment in and out. My mother has Alzheimer’s, the real thing. She has her meals delivered to her now and she no longer cooks Indian food for us. Like the items in my kitchen, she is treasured. No, I won’t toss her out or donate her – she goes in the Keep pile.
Questions to ponder as you declutter your life:
Am I holding on to something I need to let go of?
Does this item represent someone or a place and time that I want to let go of?
Do I have unfinished business with who or what the item represents?
Is this something I want to save in my mind – suggestion: take a picture of the item.
I recently I found myself at a crossroads. I had passed the magic “50 yard line”. I had turned 50 something and I want to share the impact decluttering has had on my life and my ability to transition to the next stage of my dreams.
Cleaning house and decluttering has literally cleared enough space in my mind to expand into more possibilities.
The first room I tackled was the kitchen. I found duplicate items to almost everything I own: two can openers, two spatulas, two crock pots, and you get the idea. I found many, many keys, in fact, a half a drawer full of new and old keys. As I dumped each drawer onto the cleared off kitchen table, I made three piles:
As I tossed the older items that were worn out or had no mates I am reminded of my mother’s house when I was growing up. Who knew decluttering would evoke memories like this!?
Think back to your childhood kitchen. Do you remember family members gathering and cooking in the kitchen? The spills on the counter and stove top? The overflowing pots and the aroma coming from the oven? Do you remember having guests over for tea and in our case to plan the next resistance against UC Berkeley for stealing our rec parks, the ones near our house where the University planned to put up dorms?
My family’s kitchen was a watering hole for us four kids, the neighborhood kids and my mother’s feminist gatherings. Back in my day it was about women’s rights and how they could stop being traditional wives. We sang songs by Holly Near and Chris Williamson and Joni Mitchell. We entertained people from all walks of life – but mostly “hippies” from the ‘hood. When my mother and father first moved to California from upstate New York in 1969, times were tough early on and we received weekly food deliveries from the church. Our friends included musicians from Cazadero Music Camp, the future mayor of Berkeley who was my friend’s mother and all of my mother’s therapist friends – you kind of had to watch your step around them!
Part 2 coming soon!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.