healing

Kids these days…

We all remember being hard-headed as a kid. Having to learn some of our major lessons through experience and not through the wisdom of others. It’s one of the things that, as an adult, I’m now learning how to sit back and let it happen.

Working with kids can be both amazing and frustrating. Sometimes, all rolled into one moment. Working with them in a challenging sport just maximizes both ends of the spectrum. These kids put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect in this sport (competitive gymnastics) that adding pressure as a coach runs a fine line. Especially if there’s a parent on the back end complicating it.

I got lucky as a kid. Gymnastics was my sport, just as Hockey was my brother’s. Sure, my dad was a coach in his own right, but neither of us felt pressured by him so much as we learned patience from him. Neither of my parents put pressure on my performances. In fact, whenever I questioned whether or not I wanted to continue, they led me through the breaks, the restarts and let me process the frustrations. In the end, I pushed through to my first year of college and ultimately made the decision that it was time to retire and move on to my next sport.

But what I find interesting, is to see the development of where a child’s psychology comes in, as I get to see the generational intersection at competitions. There’s an extent to which I do become sad, because I’m one of those people who firmly believes in self-reflection and not passing on my bad habits to those who come after me. And in some of these cases I see that the internal work wasn’t done (or no one ever called them on the habit) and the issue just gets handed down like great grandma’s formal china.

When I see these habits, I do what I can to provide an alternative view point, counteract where I can, and hopefully stop that habit in its tracks by teaching a method of self-reflection and encouraging that. But I also have to let go when the idea doesn’t root and hope that the continuation eventually hits a point where the fact can’t be denied – whether it becomes from a positive or negative experience.

Ultimately, our goal as adults in a child’s life is two-fold: provide guidance where and when we can and be an example to strive beyond. Instead of raising them in our image, we should be teaching them how to be better than ourselves.

Seems life is getting away…

Apparently, I write, then forget to publish. Hence the multiple posts this last week. Oops. Most of that is due to the fact that I’m being flooded with spring-inspired ideas, both personally and professionally. So I pretty much dove into that pool and have been busy with that. So I guess some of you will get 2-fer-1 deals. 😀

At the moment, I’m trying to get my life in order by trying to get my house in order. It’s amazing how the inside of one’s house is a pretty good indicator of one’s internal order. As a severe introvert who works in fields where I’m required to be highly extroverted, self care has not included cleaning. It’s mostly been sitting around and allowing my brain to just zen out. I’m getting better – one room at a time.

My husband did a deep clean up of the squirrel room, put all the wood and tree branches she had to eat and climb around on outside. The room looks good and is ready for us to start looking at the renovations. I made sense of our kitchen table, since I tend to bring all the outside table things in during winter. Slowly, slowly.

The mind has been occupied with some of the things I want to do, and some of the things I have to do. Taxes has taken a large chunk, trying to find the money for my new certifications while weathering the changes at the office that put me on a short-term bind doesn’t help. But I think I’ll get through it. I’ve had a lot of signs come my way, discussing work/life balance, whether it exists and what the future brings for folks in the US. I am concerned. But I also see where I need to go and I’m working towards that end. Down to trying to figure out a week, here soon, where I can take time off of my office and focus on myself and the things I need to get done outside of there. But it is looking good, I’ll say that much. Hoping that effort will resonate out and back in.

I also need to get back into the habit of scheduling my days. I’ve been slacking on that, hence my posting getting a little erratic. But I won’t promise, yet. Just know that I’m working on it.

A little over a year ago I rescued a Southern Flying Squirrel. My cats started bringing them in 2 Februarys ago, in their baby stages. The first one came in on the back of its momma and only lived a couple of days. I didn’t know much then, but I learned quickly.

Our next one was Tiny One. She was old enough to have fur, but wasn’t quite old enough to be romping around without mom. So we kept her warm, fed her, and soon she was tormenting the cats thinking they were playmates.

As she grew we eventually gave her one of the spare rooms in our house. Her and her sister (another that the cats brought in, but was intended to be released once the hard freeze was over) were constantly heard jumping around the obstacle course we created for them. Eventually, Little escaped, finding some space between the drywall in the closet to the attic. From there she chewed a hole and out she went.

Tiny stayed and moved back into her bachelorette pad that consisted of a towel folded over a clothes hanging rod filled with pillow stuffing. She loved June bugs and thought cicadas were the most prized delicacy when we were able to catch them for her.

In Little’s escape, another squirrel showed up and was caught up in the live trap we put up. Since there was a hole, there was a good chance she was going to come back, so into the room she went. Call placed to have the hole blocked and in that time, we suddenly had 4 babies join the family. So momma and kids stayed. Tiny eventually became the awesome aunt until it was time for them to go outside.

A couple of weeks ago, I started repeatedly catching another squirrel in the trap. So, same thing occurs. Call placed, waiting on the person to come patch the hole. But this time Tiny didn’t get to play the awesome aunt. We don’t know what exactly happened, but I found her unresponsive and I’m choosing to believe it was natural and not from a fight between them. I’m overwhelmed with grief, as during the short lifespan she was an anchor as I lost 2 cats that I’ve had for the last 20 years. Her squirreliness and love of climbing all over me, hiding nuts in my hair and all over my clothes, brought some kind of peace to what I was feeling.

Watching her learn to fly was even more awesome. Her and Little used to chase each other up my legs and onto my shoulders where they would jump and fly off to a shelf or the floor, then turn around and run back up. Just like kids who discover sledding or the most awesome slide in the world. The same went when I brought in her favourite bugs or nuts. You could see the absolute joy in her being when she realized what was in front of her.

I’m trying to come to terms with everything. Part of me is saying that this is just nature cycling, as the other squirrel has yet to return to my attic, despite the hole still being somewhere. The fact that it was on Imbolc when I found her and our running joke was that she put out in squirrel mail that we were awesome folks who were willing to take care of them during winter resulted in additional guests during the cold snaps.

But you never know what’s going to worm its way into your heart. And it’s hard to think I can’t walk into her room and have a face hugger coming at my head from the closet anymore (it was her favourite thing to do to us when we walked in). Or holding one of my cats and watching her jump on the cat’s face and sniff her then bound away.

I take solace in the fact that my cats no longer kill them and bring them in. My oldest brings me the baby babies (last one had just gotten its fur, but only lasted a couple of hours). But since Little, they haven’t brought any in that were harmed.

Randomness…

There have been a lot of changes on the horizon for me, both personally and professionally. It’s been a bit of a rush with a ton of anxiety because it’s a change that will ultimately, I hope, benefit others but it puts me into a realm of unknown and regrouping.

But that’s what winter is about, isn’t it? Going into the depths of the dark, seeking out the unknown, confronting it, then growing from it. At this point, I’m just trying to come to terms with what has been thrown at me. I have a track that I’m on and I’m actively forcing myself to stay on it, despite these last minute changes. Especially because it puts me in a bind with some of my previous choices that focused on professional growth in my office and required additional funds that needed to be directed that way.

But as with nature, the cold frost hits and kills things off. A little warmth steps in and allows seeds to crack so those first roots can tap the depths; before the fingers can reach up towards the surface and draw in the sun and the warmth.

As winter arrives…

The weather is finally starting to commit to winter around here. As I’ve lived here for the last 20ish years, winter has been an elusive beast that tempts you into thinking that the season exists right as it morphs directly into spring.

But that seems to be shifting, as more and more winter comes out of its hiding place and firmly displays the 20 degree temperatures and the copious precipitation that comes with it.

It starts with the rains, they come heavy for days. Then the temperature drops, and the water begins to crystalize and the scent of outside begins to give off that pure scent that says “snow is here”. This is how we renew, casting off the things that die and no longer serve us, so they can become the nourishment for the new things allowed to grow in the space where death once roamed.

I think this is one issue we have in our society. We no longer have an acceptance of death. It’s more of something we either seek to hide away in hospitals or communities of elder care facilities and cemeteries. We look to modern medicine and “fountain of youth” treatments to avoid the natural progression of life. In our great progress to treat our disease of self, we’ve created a new bug. Not one created from a virus or bacterium but one that is in our heads and our social structures.

It makes us immune to the effects our words and conduct have towards others. The “sticks and stones” rhyme made real. Failing to see the consequences of our thoughts made real. And if we do, see those consequences, they’re shrugged off with simple dismissal that it’s someone else’s problem.

Grab your humanity!!!!

So I’ve been watching, because I do that kind of thing, and the one thing that I’m noticing about a good chunk of the discussion is the lack of humanity. This primarily came up because there’s a bullet that likes to remind me that I dodged it. Every time I listen to this person open their “mouth” I find the absolute loss of empathy and humanity coming out of it. There’s an extent to which it saddens me, but that’s not my responsibility nor did I dig the hole that keeps getting deeper.

Then I reflect to the grander picture. Our society is a very, very fine balance; as any society is. Law attempts to be humane but there comes a point where Lady Justice has to put her blindfold on and decide based on what we’ve decided, as a society, is guilt or innocence. Being on either end of that spectrum doesn’t determine the presence or absence of humanity, but how we dole out the consequences does.

In our current climate we’ve subsisted on soundbites and half stories for decades, which for the folks my age was the whole premise behind Reality Bites. We love the tidbits, we love filling in the gaps and making new stories out of them, but we really hate having to own up to the fact that we jumped the gun. This leads us to the whole false narrative issues we’re starting to see play out in our media. Our need for “right now” not “wait and see”.

This is where I’m going to tell you – grab your fucking humanity. Put yourself in a mental situation that doesn’t include whatever bubble you were cushioned by growing up. Consider it a thought project safe space, if you need those. Imagine being in a situation that many people these days are finding themselves in – in our multi-ethnic society – that seeks a specific individuality that is based on a specific group ideal. How and what would you do in that situation? Do you have all the facts? Could you truly make a decision based on what you do know?

Our human experiences are all different. We may not be able to know exactly how someone else feels based on our individual environments, but we can relate and we can imagine to try and find that point. It really isn’t that difficult. It’s just easier to default to hate because it doesn’t require any real rational thought or discussion. When we do that, and when we approach from that direction – that is where we find the points we can make a change for the better. And I would really like to see us do better.

Evolution…

Things have been getting pretty hectic here since the beginning of the year. But in a good way. It’s been giving me time to reconnect with my roots, clear out the old junk that has been holding me back from jumping off the cliff, and make room for all the really awesome stuff that has been percolating in the background.

It’s been a good clearing, as I’m finding the ideas that I’ve been waiting for are finally starting to bubble to the surface. How I want the back yard to look, what I want the house to look like, what my office should be and finally….what my job will be! That part is the most exciting, because it finally allows me to bring every thing I do in life together into this one little bundle.

I’ve always known that I’m that person who will always be a step behind, but it’s never really bothered me that much because I’ve found that I always arrive when I need to do so. Guess that makes me a little wizard in the Tolkien vein. 😀

As things progress, I might talk about it more here, even though I do want to keep things a bit separate. Maybe I’ll hit a stride where I finally don’t care again and can fully open up. But it’s hard to explain how awesome it is, when that part that you thought was dead inside – buried in thick concrete and hidden for all time – to crackle back to life. To hear the muse that you had pushed aside, to become something that someone else wanted you to be, to forgive you enough and trust enough that she’d begin talking to you. And to finally hear the gods of old start to sing their songs with you. The awakening that we all search for, cry out for, and seek every single day.

But then begin to realize that it’s a process of a lot of small circumstances and details that add up.