Present Tense

Let’s hear it for INTROSPECTION!!

Life is a whirlwind, isn’t it?  Time sweeps us along, even though we may not  feel like being swept.  We feel over-scheduled and overwhelmed, leaving no time or space to think or plan or just ponder our lives.

I’m a committed ponderer and have been for sometime, particularly since I stopped drinking.  I went inside to see what the root of my abuse might have been and even though I really never found the answer to that (probably genetics and unhappiness, mostly) I did begin to uncover some other tidbits.  It’s interesting that once you allow (or force) yourself to be still,  you begin to achieve some clarity about your beliefs and your motivations.

I’ve been pondering and seeking what I want the next phase of my life to look like.  I’m not a settled person.  I have a strong desire to move; physically, mentally, intellectually, spiritually, philosophically.  I tend to be restless and even though I’m a bit of a homebody and I do enjoy my routine, I’m ready to move on; to shake it up .

I’ve been in restless mode for over a year, now.  It probably began around the time I turned 50.  There’s something about realizing that you’ve been walking on earth for a half century that causes a reassessment of your life.  You start hearing about people dying in their 50s and 60s and it can be horribly depressing. On the other hand, it can be a kick in the ass to start facing our own mortality and the reality that we really don’t have all the time in the world.

The key is to stop and listen; whether through solitude or meditation or yoga or art or long runs or walks, you have to listen to yourself.  That means leaving the iPod behind while you exercise, sitting on the porch/deck/patio alone with your thoughts and no distractions.  Writing until you start to peel away the layers of the onion that is your consciousness. What is it that you seek?  What is it that is making you restless/anxious/emotional/angry?

I’m as guilty as anyone.  I have a difficult time putting down my iPhone or iPad.  The TV is on way too much, as is the radio in the car.  It’s a way to NOT deal with whatever is eating at me, nagging at me, bumming me out.  I must turn off the outside noise and listen to the inside wisdom.  We all have that inner wisdom, if we are brave enough to hear it.

Here’s what I’ve learned over the past two years of the “Jane listening tour”:  I intuitively know what I need and it will be revealed to me if I’m open and willing to act.

For instance, I’ve wanted a place in northern Michigan, near Traverse City for as long as I can remember.  Growing up in southern Michigan, my family would go “up north” most summers.  My husband and I have visited the area several times and dreamed of owning a few acres, near a lake.  We figured that the chances of finding a property that we could afford and that met my very specific criteria were slim.

And yet, we are now the owners of a beautiful 10 acre farm in that area.  The story of how that came to be is completely random and implausible.  This opportunity appeared out of nowhere and I let it in.  I could have easily said, “oh, this is too hard or too complicated or it’s too far away or too impetuous or too expensive or too irresponsible”.  All valid excuses to not move toward what I knew in my heart was my destiny.

I was open to it.  Maybe just for a week or a day or whatever, but I leaped.  Because I was listening.  I took the time to allow that which I was seeking, to be revealed to me.  I knew that I had to act on this opportunity because I had prepared myself.

I know this all sounds kind of airy-fairy, metaphysical, right?  But, I’m not sure how else to explain or verbalize the intense sense of clarity and “rightness” that I felt. I know without a doubt that my commitment to turning off the outside world and listening to ME is the reason.  Too many of us feel guilty for taking time away from all of our ‘obligations’ to find the time and inclination to listen to ourselves.  But, we have to.  It’s imperative for your life going forward, not only for you, but for those you love and serve.  You have GOT to find you and when you do, LISTEN…..

June 2, 2012 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , ,


  1. Hi Jane. It’s a funny old world, isn’t it? I was thinking about this stuff just the other day and here you are echoing my very thoughts! I relate so much to this post as I turned 51 this year and as you said, started to weigh up what I really want from life, especially as you so aptly said ‘half a century’! Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Sally | June 2, 2012 | Reply

    • Jane,

      What a knockout commentary you have written. For me, I fill my world with distractions of all kinds in an effort to shut out what might be an actual emotion coming my way that I am not certain I wish to feel. Lately I’ve been pondering about altering that behavior and learning to just feel. In six days the 14th anniversary of my infant sons death will be upon me. For years now I’ve given it little thought as the healing process took place. Until now. I look at my 8 month old son playing on the rug before me and can’t quite intersect tne two. Why then? Why now? What’s it all mean? I think I would be wise to heed your advice and worry less about the “why” and do my best to just feel my way throuh it. New to me as I poured alcohol on it all for a long while too. This morning I took a very long run with my IPod blasting away, I was listening to your show however! This afternoon with nothing but the sounds of the country to guide me, I plan on a walk. And maybe even a thought without a question mark after it .Thank you.

      Comment by Kristyn winn | June 7, 2012 | Reply

      • P.s Jane, I forgot to mention I turn 48 in two weeks.

        Comment by Kristyn winn | June 7, 2012

      • Kristyn:
        Thanks for the comment. It sounds like you’ve had some major tragedy to deal with and I completely understand not wanting to feel that. I’m glad my musings are helpful in some small way. And don’t ever choose silence over The Dom and Jane Show:)
        Take care

        Comment by janelondon | June 9, 2012

  2. I like airy fairy Let it in! That’s why I moved across the country and got married at age 48 and am happier now than I’ve ever been in my entire life!

    Comment by francescaamari (@francescaamari) | June 9, 2012 | Reply

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