Sunday, May 11, 2014

I Give Up!

I don't like to "let Go and let God." 

I'm more of a "God helps those who help themselves" kinda gal.

Let go?  And who is going to pick up the mess when I do?

God?  God?!  Have you seen what a mess He's made of things?  Cancer, disease, child labour, war, genocide, global warming.  Uh yeah...I think He's having enough troubles managing his own affairs let alone worry about taking care of mine.

Maybe He oughta try yoga.

"Surrender to the Earth," and all that.

Except I'm not any better at surrendering than I am at letting go. 

My least favourite pose in yoga is "Child's Pose."  That's the one where you just sit back on your heels and lean forward and chill out.  Let go, they tell you.  Complete surrender. 

And all I can do is think of how uncomfortable this is and how I hate being bent forward over my fat stomach this way and is my fat ass far down enough on my heels and my stomach is on my knees which is obstructing my breathing and I can't draw breath and I hate this pose and when is it time to get into "Warrior."

I'm more of a fighter.   

I can flee too. 

But surrender? Let go?

That sounds like giving up to me.

A few weeks ago the kids and I did a mini archery class at the Abbey Museum in Caboolture.  The kids do it all the time, but I thought I would give it a go this time as well.  I had Andrew show me how to hold the bow and string the arrow and then....well, then I had to let go.

I had to let go.

Let go.

Let go, my mind said.

Let go, my son said.

Let go, said the instructor.

But letting go involved, well, letting go, and it was really really hard.  You see, I had spent all that time learning to set it up and I finally had it all in a nice position and it looked good and my fingers were in the right position ad if I let go I wasn't sure what would happen to the string and to my fingers and to that position that I had worked so hard to get to.

I am not making this into a metaphor on purpose.

Finally, I let go.

And the arrow sailed pretty far and fairly straight. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Kenny Rogers on Life

You'll have to thank (condemn?) Lindsey for my latest writing spree.  She sent a chain email asking us to send our favourite quote to live by to person number one on the list and then move her name up and place ours under it.  I never did forward it to twenty friends - and I only answered it a month later - but I did meet Mary that way and catch up again with some old faces from the Stuttgart Writers' Group.  Oh dear - I am SO bad at letting go. But more on that later.

Writers are notorious for not being able to follow directions. 

Excuse us; we all decided one time in Stuttgart that it's our brilliance and our creativity.  The rules really CAN'T apply to US can they?!

So I sent two quotes BEFORE the one that counts.  And have come up with another since then.

1.  Is a personal quote from Lindey herself:  "Everything strong comes from something broken." (Look, behind every writer is a person searching for healing! Oops.  Is that another one?!)

2.  Is a personal quote from a friend of mine here.  When discussing Tao and emptiness and what it means.  And if emptiness is good.  "I guess it all depends on what you allow to fill the emptiness."

3.  Is mine.  I still want to blog on this one.  It came to me last week.  After a LOT of searching.  "Surrender is giving up with hope."

4.  Kenny Rogers.  (Written by D. Schlitz)  "You gotta know when to hold 'em.  Know when to fold 'em.  Know when to walk away.  Know when to run."

I heard it again today at the Urban Country Music Festival in Caboolture and really think it covers everything there is you need to know about life.

Especially the part about running!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

An Empty Nut. (Continued)

The rules didn't used to apply to me.

Why am I so crushed by them now?

If only someone had told me children were like Horcruxes.

They are more than carrying your heart forever on the outside, fragile, as someone once stated.

They tear apart your soul.

Until there is nothing left of you.

Although, once you have had them, you are nothing without them either.

Without my anxiety, my world is grey.

I can't remember the last time I felt joy - true, unrestrained joy - without boundaries or barriers or obligations or texpectations, without timelines and deadlines to meet.

Is this all there is?

Is this what I came here for?

How long can a soul run on empty?

What's after empty?

(Hmmm...maybe if I took a WHOLE dose of St John's Wort I wouldn't worry about this so much any more.  )

A friend once told me that it depends on what fills the emptiness.

I am waiting. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

In a Nut.

Speaking of 'in a nutshell', this is what I wrote on March 31 while watching the boys at hip-hop and break dance.  I didn't post it, because I didn't want to scare my mother!  (I'd been taking the half doses of St John's Wort for a week by then.)

So.  It's taken the edge off.  Now what?

Who am I without my anxiety?

An empty mellow shell.

Now that I'm not worried about all the things I need to do.

I'm bored.

Who am I without my anxiety?

Taxi driver, dish washer, laundry lady, fast order cook, schedule planner, clothes sorter, 8th grade teacher, learning my alphabet for the sixth time, toilet cleaner, nursery rhyme singer.

Does it really matter how many pushups I can do, how long I can hold a plank or how fast I can sprint?

I am only as good as my last workout.

I am only as slim as my last weigh-in.

The endorphins are as fleeting as the anxiety.  Are either real?

Am I only as young as my face cream?

Who am I?  If not this portrait of middle-aged suburban mother of five I have lived myself into?

Sigh.  Who am I? 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May. Be!

Oh, I don't know, sometimes the universe DOES seem to be working as it should.  Take, for instance, the fact that I haven't been online except to check school and sport activities in over half a year.  I answer an email - granted, from someone I trust - and end up with a new friend and inspiration.  Just at a point where Damon is home more often and I can contemplate writing again.  (He's been working six days a week, 72 hours a week, in a country where every other dad is home for 5;00 soccer practise and where it is illegal to force employees to work more than 38 hours a week.  Don't ask.  If we had wanted him to work that hard and not see the kids we could have stayed in New York City, thank you, and been able to afford an au-pair, maid, lawn and pool care - oh, and a pool!)

Last term was tough.  But, in less cynical moments, I do feel like people are being sent at the proper moments to take care of me. 

First things first:  I started taking half doses of St Johns Wort in mid March.  It DID take the edge off and get rid of the anxiety.  But don't panic on the essay I wrote after that - emptiness might be what I was looking for after all!  Blah-dom without worry was just something very new to me at first.

Some assumptions to start with, so that we are all caught up for April:

1.  My kids are still brilliant.  All of them.
2.  Ian is so smart I might have him writing my blogs soon.
3.  Ryan still has Asperger's.  Although I haven't wanted to beat her since that big fight over showering (or, more to the point, NOT showering!, over two months ago.
4.  The school system still needs improvement.
5.  And I, of course, know exactly how to improve it.
6.  The Queensland culture often confounds me.
7.  Although some of my best friends - and family - live there, some things about Germany - the culture, the government, the school system and the World Wars - still make me angry.
8.  I get irrationally angry at the weather over there.
9.  I believe my personal growth is accelerating at an exponential rate - which Ian should be able to calculate for you before he is three - and also believe I am the only one to have had these revelations before and feel the need to share them with everyone.  Sorry about that.
10.  I am still too fat but I love working out and so continue to do it anyway.

And that, in a nutshell, is me at 45.

Although lately I feel this is really just the beginning and not the middle at all!