There are days when I fear.
I think about the fact that I’m soon going to be 47, and that I’m in the upper-middle portion of my life. I’ve had a hysterectomy, so, no more children, which is both a sadness and a blessing. There will be no more warm little bundles combining my DNA with someone else’s. But, then, there will also never be anymore sleepless nights of feedings, diapers & the stresses of teenage years. I’ve come to accept this, & I am not only Ok with it, I’m happy that part of my life has passed me by.
But, there are also negatives that have come with the maturation process.
I have osteoarthritis, mainly in my hands and wrists, & over the last few months, it has come to be a large focus for me.
My hands play such a vital role in my life, and I fear what this change will bring to me.
My job consists of working with computers and files. I type…all day long. The arthritis has restricted me in many ways, making my job a lot more difficult. I have trouble handling heavy files, as they put a lot of pressure on my inflamed finger joints, and the medicines I take for it don’t completely mitigate that pain. Typing all day puts stresses on my hands that I never thought would be this complex and painful, but I have learned a lot about my limits & my capabilities, including my tolerances for pain.
And then… There’s my art.
Things like these take a LOT of hand-work. I twist wires with the help of jewelry pliers & locking wrenches, but the bulk of the work is done by MY hands. On days when the barometer fucks with my arthritis, it can go from uncomfortable, shifting to painful & excruciating.
How can I continue to do what I love, when it can cause so much pain?
How can I express my visions, my imagination, my passion, when I can’t manipulate the medium I work through without crippling my tools – my hands?
This is my fear…
That the arthritis will steal my gift.
That it will destroy something I love…my art.
And I will be left without it’s comfort.
Where is the blessing in this change?
…….I continue to search…..
I’ve been slightly obsessed with – rings – lately, & I don’t know why.
You see, I’ve never really been much of a jewelry person. Oh, I’ve always had a couple of pieces that I wear, ones that I rarely take off, like my pentacle necklace (representing my faith), & some tiny gold hoops that sit in the top cartilage of my left ear (pierced by my best friend shortly after high school).
And each piece of jewelry that I wear usually has a story behind it, a personal meaning for me, that is the reason it gets worn.
So, what’s the story behind my recent need to wear more & different rings?
Not a clue. Really, it’s odd.
But, here’s a brief description of what I’m wearing on my hands right now, & what they each mean. (In no particular order of importance to me)
First up – Right hand:
Thumb – A sterling silver pentacle ring. Again, representative of my faith, & a daily reminder to myself to balance the elements of my life.
Index finger- triple fidget ring. This ring represents my kids to me. I have 3, & a lot of times, they make me fidgety.😜
Ring finger- sterling silver ring with oval amber stone. This stone for me represents healing & preservation of memories.
Thumb- electroplated sterling with cz & opal inlay stones. This ring I purchased through an introvert group page, and to me, it’s just really pretty & subtle, while having some “spark” to it. I love the blue-green tones of the opal.
Pinky – This has 2 rings. The first is a simple band of hematite, which is a protective stone that “bounces” outside negativity away from me. I have a tendency to pick up easily & take on other people’s emotional states if I’m not careful, so this is a necessary accessory for me.
The 2nd ring is a gold band with 7 white sapphires. This is extremely sentimentally important to me, as it was my sister, Midnite’s ring before she passed away in 2009. My beloved Nephew gave it to me after her passing, & I wear it in her honor.
Ring finger – sterling silver 2-strand braided band. No, I’m not married. This ring I specifically bought for myself. It reminds me that I am truly the only person I can always count on to take care of ME, and that I need to remember to rely on myself, have faith in myself & trust that I will always get through the tough times.
I’ve been let down, abandoned, hurt, mentally, physically, & sexually abused in my past. I’ve made it through everything. Yes, I have friends & family who’ve helped me in the past with dealing with some of those situations, but the one, constant thing in my life has always been – ME, obviously.
This ring is my reminder to never again put all my faith in someone else, or try to rely on believing that others will be there…because too many times, they haven’t been. It’s my “Stand tall on your own two” ring.
There are other rings I have, that I wear occasionally, but these are the semipermanent ones for now. This is the story I wear on my hands at the moment, & whether there’s anyone out there who sees these rings & “gets” this story – I know it. I’m living it. And this is my current expression of it.
Anxiety has been so bad tonight. It’s been bad for the last couple of weeks.
But not to look at me.
If you just look, I am normal – smiling, joking, & getting along, doing my work, handling my business…
This is the face of anxiety.
Take another look at the eyes.
Take a good look.
There’s tension there.
There’s a twitch, just there in the corner of one eye, constantly fluttering.
There’s a tightness around the eyes, pulling at the edges, headache darting between the brows.
The smile looks almost real, though, doesn’t it?
Slightly wilted, tired, resigned.
But it fools the masses.
And makes sure that no one notices the trembles.
The hint of vibration that never leaves.
My body is wound so tightly I feel like an over-tuned violin, ready to snap as soon as the bow draws across it the first time.
And this – is the face after the crash.
The face that no one sees.
The worry drawn tight over the brow.
The grief and guilt filling in the mouth.
The resignation that smears the vision.
Knowing it’s just a matter of time before the other shoe drops.
Nobody gets to see this face if I can help it.
It shatters the illusion that everything works. That I’m Ok, all lights green across the board, engines full and running at capacity.
This is the face after the mask comes off.
I’m tired of hiding, of pretending. I’m tired of everyone thinking that anxiety is just a random worry.
It’s real, it’s painful, it’s constant & it’s not something I can be rid of just by “calming down”.
I take medication every day to control the worst of it, or I probably wouldn’t be able to function.
This- is my reality.
It’s not the whole of who I am.
But it is real.
And that’s what I’m here, blogging for.
To be in one place where I can be real.
My nephew and I talk honestly to each other all the time. We don’t pull our words back, because we don’t have to.
But there are times when I need to see the words in front of me, splayed out like a bloody corpse, flayed, raw & bleeding all over the page.
Therapy at it’s deepest level.
Minus the shiny buckles on the strapped jacket.
After dealing with a migraine today, it’s time for me to pass on some of the love.
Cue the old poetry…
You sit there
Talking to me
But I don’t hear what
In your eyes
Seeing my own pain
You’re telling me
How you never promised me
A rose garden
Asked for one
All I wanted
Was that you
Tell me what
*funny how present life seems to imitate the past, ain’t it?*
One Tear for Me
Just cry one tear for me
Then I’ll be on my way
Please tell me that you loved me
At least you did one day
It matters to me now
What you have to say
Even if it won’t
When I am old and gray
I could have loved you deeply
But you just walked away
Before I had a chance
To say what I had to say
So just cry one tear for me
Then I’ll be on my way.
*damnedest thing, how these still sound so familiar*
Here I stand
At the window
My hands pressed against
My breath making fog
On its surface.
Let me in, I say
I tap on the glass
But they don’t see
Their backs are turned
And then, so is mine
I turn and see her
With her hands pressed
Against the glass
As mine had been
I know that I
Am no longer alone.
We back away from the window
“They’re only mannequins”
I noticed that too
We walk away together
Knowing that they are only
While we have the whole world
*this was for my best friend, who showed me how much bigger the world was, when all I saw was a small town*
*and here’s the last one I plan to publish here, as this has reminded me why I haven’t posted these before…*
Think of Me
Every time you see a happy child
Think of me
When you see something free and wild
Think of me
When you read a story
With a happy end
Or get a letter from
Your best friend
See my smiling face
Happy for you
Think of me.
When you’re lost and alone
And you want to go home
Think of me
If you’re sad or you’re blue
Know I’m thinking of you
When you see the sun come out…
Think of me.
All is quiet today.
The gifts were all unwrapped yesterday, the squeals of joy still echoing softly within my memories.
The food, copious amounts of holiday delectables, were all devoured, the leftovers packed & sent along, saving only a few, choice morsels for myself.
The hugs & kisses warm me when I think back, bringing a lump to my throat & a gleam to my eye, as I know it’ll be a long stretch before it happens again.
But yesterday was successful and merry, just what I wanted for my Solstice gift.
And today…I spend alone.
You see, I am Pagan. I don’t celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. Mine happened days ago, on the 21st, the Winter/Yule Solstice. To me, it is a time of homemade, heart-made gifts, not all of the tangible & able to be wrapped in brightly -colored paper. Sometimes, it’s as simple as someone not-Pagan remembering to wish me a “Blessed Yule”. It shows they were thinking of me, & thoughtful enough to remember that my holidays are different, but are not forgotten.
Other times, it’s a child offering their help with preparations, without being asked, &/or just doing something helpful without my knowledge.
I do participate in the tradition of gift-giving, & my family has done this on Xmas Eve for many years. There are many reasons for this, but the simplest is that my children all go to their fathers’ on Xmas Day.
So, Xmas Day is my Quiet Day.
A day of contemplation & relaxation. One I usually spend in decadent repose, lounging in my jammies, hair wild from sleep & no desire to “fix it”.
A day of grazing on leftover treats…a little pumpkin pie for lunch, some fudge for snack…maybe some stuffing, veggies & mashed potatoes mixed together with turkey for supper.
I miss my kids, don’t get me wrong.
I loved having all 3 home again, noisy & raucous, leaving little messes lying around of drink cups & my grandson’s toys. It’s odd to not hear him saying “Gramma…you know what-uh?”
Speed Racer in his race car, complete with padded “helmet”.
But, last night, after all the hustle & bustle of the rituals of food & gifts… There was the chaos of the leave-taking. Packing items for travel, packaging leftovers for a long haul to Washington for EldestDaughter & her SO, for the shorter trek for YoungerDaughter back to her apartment, & getting OnlySon ready to go to his father’s.
And…when all had departed for their next destinations, I was left staring at the silent night, inside and out.
The silver Star atop my tree will join the jingle bells I had hanging next to the door – both will be put away tonight, clearing the holiday decorations swiftly, now that the revelers have fled.
And I spend today alone, watching the silent snow fall, content with yesterday’s success, mourning it’s passing, & hoping for the new year to be brighter.
Happy Holidays, all.
(EldestDaughter, OnlySon, & YoungerDaughter)
From our homes & hearts to yours.
EldestDaughter, SO, & Grandson. (Newest grandson also in picture, but not snuggleable till Feb. release date!)
May your days be Merry & Bright!
Anxiety has been at a peak for a while now, and I’ve been working on getting through it. It’s not always easy, & some days, the anxiety overrides everything else, & I’m left clutched in it, and all the side effects that come with it.
There are some ways I’ve found to combat the anxiety, though, & for me, at least… It helps…mostly.
In no particular order:
1. Music. Different moods require different genres. Some days I’m Enya & Chopin, Halsey, Adele & Sara Bareilles.
Other days, I’m Metallica & Linkin Park, AC/DC, and Ozzy.
And some days, I’m Ruelle, Twenty One Pilots, Sia, Pink, Christina Aguilera, Meghan Trainor & Bollywood music.
Music helps, and sometimes, I hear it without the radio, softly humming in my head, the background noise of the earth, like a singing bowl, just a soft, lilting ringing…
2. Candles. I have a few. Different scents for different moods. Soft ones, light & clean ones, heavy woodsy ones, spicy, energetic ones. Lit, they fill the house with whatever scent I need at the moment, changing the mood of the room…and me.
She always knows when I need to snuggle, & she’s right there, in my lap, in my face, purring like a rough motor, & determined to be as close as possible.
4. Hot water. Whether a bath or shower, there is a calming that falls over me in the hot water. If my water heater was larger, I’d spend hours in the water.
I also love the rain…something about it, whether the sound, the smell in the air, or watching the drops roll down the window – something just – hits me in the feels, when it rains.
5. Soft fabrics. I’ve said before that I’m a tactile person. When I’m stressed, or anxious, soft, comfy fabrics, warm, fuzzy clothes & blankets… They work. Curl up in my chair, or snuggle up in bed, & I automatically feel better.
6. Crafts & home renovations. I almost forgot! Crafting is like meditation for me, taking my attentions & stresses, & turning them to concentration on creating something new from bits & pieces. Home renovations are like that, too. Changing my surroundings to something more my taste, & doing something positive that will make my home a more soothing place. I’ve been painting walls in my home, going from a dirty beige to a clean, crisp, light grey. Knowing that I’m doing these things independently, accomplishing more every time I pick up the roller & brushes, the craft supplies, makes me feel good. And the results show that I am making strides in changing my world & life for the better.
First time trying to post a home video…
And the cat you hear crying in the background? Chloe…OnlySon’s minion, trying to videobomb me…sheesh.
These methods don’t always work, but they do help most of the time. And when they don’t…
Because I know that Time passes, & eventually… So does the anxiety.