Present Tense

2017: The Year of Complete Exhaustion

Let’s face it: 2017 has been a completely exhausting year. We’re all worn out, mostly from the weird energies and ‘new normals’ that have we’ve been faced with this year.

I would love nothing more than to go into the whole astrological significance and transits and energies and how this is affecting our lives, but I know better. Many of you find that silly and confusing…so onward. (But, it’s fascinating and amazingly accurate, so maybe I’ll write about it later for those who are interested)

I guess the main theme and watchword for the past 12 months or so was ‘disruption’. As I watched the news or read about current events, my own mantra was “Nothing Makes Sense”.

As the year went on, this became something I repeated over and over to whoever would listen (usually my poor husband who is the main receiver of my insights and wisdom:) After a while, I started saying it with an exasperated chuckle.  Eventually, things got so crazy, you HAD to laugh.

We kept trying to fit this square peg of a year into the nice, round hole of comfort, security and ‘the way things have always been’. Try to do that physically and you’ll soon be banging that peg with a sledge hammer, creating an even bigger mess and problem.

This was the year that all of the buried shit in our culture began to rise up, like a plugged up toilet. The normal and expected result after we poop or pee is that we push the handle and it flushes it all away; out of sight, out of mind.

2017 was the year that we pushed the handle like we always do and suddenly the toilet tank begins to fill up.  No flushing! Holy shit! And I mean that literally.  Here it comes…overflowing…overwhelming…what do we do?

This was the year that we had to begin to see that our collective toilet is plugged. That we’ve pushed things down, underground, out of sight, out of mind for literally centuries.

Racism, sexism, misogyny, abuse, male domination, bigotry, religious zealotry, white supremacy/nationalism, violence, corruption, corruption, corruption, homophobia, ignorance, inequality of kinds; shall I go on?

You get the picture. All of these horrors have existed, but we buried them nicely, so that many of us who are not directly affected (and as we’ve seen over the past year, with #MeToo, etc. that nearly ALL of us HAVE been affected, we just felt powerless to speak) have been able to just whistle past the graveyard.

So, as we all stand here at the end of 2017, with the sewage puddling around our feet, now what? Do we get a shop vac and suck it all up? Do we get out our mops and sanitizer and make the bathroom sparkle again?

OR do we unplug the goddamned toilet?

Let’s stop shoving things into it, hoping to flush it all away. Let’s begin to allow unpleasant things to be seen, rather than buried or flushed.

This is the legacy of the past year AND of the Trump presidency. It was to disrupt and to force us to see who we are. He is our mirror. Ugh, right?:) But, that’s the hard part, isn’t it. Seeing our warts and prejudices and ignorance. Tough stuff.

Do I think he had this all planned out? Oh, for God’s sake, NO! But I see so clearly that this had to happen. We had to be shaken up. Do I like it? Not really, but I have gotten to the point where I understand it and see that it’s a necessary evil.

We can’t keep flushing away our problems…the septic tank is FULL.

So, relax this weekend. Reflect and try to see past all of our fears and discomfort and disruption of the past year. I know it’s been exhausting, but growth and insight and resolve take a lot of energy.

2017…you kicked our butts, but I think you lit a fire and for that we will look back in gratitude.

December 31, 2017 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Wherever you go, there you are…

good evilThe old sports cliché is “it’s a game of inches”. If you think about it, that applies to pretty much everything, doesn’t it? Our lives are a game of inches, or seconds. We never know when we’ll be in the wrong place at the wrong time or more happily, the right place at the right time.

My husband is currently obsessed with the randomness of life. Apparently all of the yammering and musing that I’ve done on this very subject has sunk into his skull. He had an irritating example of this last week, when a guy ran into him head-on as he was out running errands. Nobody was hurt and it was the other guy’s fault (THANK YOU!).

We both bitched about the bad luck and the annoyance of having to file a claim, get an estimate, blah, blah, blah. But, the interesting discussion happened when my husband realized that had he just slightly altered his journey, this would never have happened. If he’d asked one more question at the mower repair place; or one less question. If he’d taken another route home that he had considered.

On the other hand, I pointed out that had he done any of those things, he may have been in a worse accident. We just never know. Who’s to say what’s good or bad/right or wrong?  Life is random and all of the planning in the world cannot foresee what’s just around the corner.

And then yesterday, we were coming home from the store. Before I turned down our long driveway, I stopped to check our mailbox by the road. As I walked back to the car, an older man was driving out of the cemetery in front of our 10 acre farm. He stopped and asked me if we lived behind it, as his dog had just run off while they were visiting his parents’ graves. I told him to follow me back to our place and we’d look around.

We pulled up toward the garage and didn’t see a stray dog and as I was getting his phone number, I glanced out toward our orchard and there she was, galloping through the trees. A loud whistle and Lucky was back in her owner’s truck. Kismet. Random. Right place, right time. We were that old gentleman’s angels.  Had I not stopped to check the mail, our paths would not have crossed.

These are the things we must notice; random moments of tragedy and grace that are delivered to us every single day. I’m honestly thrilled that these lessons appeared in quick succession this week, as I’ve been trying to articulate to my husband that we have to be less cautious and more open to events, both good and bad.

We are both planners, but he plans for the worst, where I often visualize the results that I would like to occur, although I do get caught up in fear-based visions. I am not sure if my visualizations are optimism or intuition, but things usually go my way. I’m starting to think that it’s often my gut showing me a path forward, but that’s another post.

Grasping the concept that we sort of have to just hang on for the ride can be terrifying and/or freeing and empowering, but that is up to us. Life is so random and I know that every one of you is struggling with that right now, whether you’re grieving a terrible loss or struggling with “what if” or just wishing you knew what will happen in the next 5 years or 5 minutes, for that matter.

You can’t. None of us can. But that doesn’t mean we stop being responsible or laying groundwork for paying for your kid’s education or saving for retirement or losing the weight and taking care of your health.

We do have to throw up our hands to fate, but we don’t have to give up. There is a difference. Flexibility is key and we need to be grateful for the opportunities we’re given to be in the right place at the right time. Start paying attention to these little events. Thoughts are things.

Last night after dinner, my husband looked at me and said, “I’m really glad that we helped that man find his dog”. “Me, too”, I replied.

Grace.

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

   

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