Grief, for me, makes me think deeper about life and purpose.
I also have the same question pretty much every single time: why?
Why are we here and what’s the point?
When so much sadness envelopes our mind it makes life feel like sludge. I cry a lot and it makes my head heavy mentally and physically. That’s new for me, by the way.
The first few decades of my life wandering this planet were so different than the last 5 or 10 years.
I was raised with philosophies that should be illegal! My once free and clear mind was bent, nailed, locked and forced into a mold of “correct thinking” that was (and I firmly believed it) supposed to make the world a better place and SAVE MANKIND.
Napoleon Hill points out in his book, “The Creator gave man complete control over but one thing, that the Creator must have intended that that was the most important thing in the world. How strange it is, my friends, that civilization has not included in its education and religious the importance of this marvelous gift from the Creator, a gift so powerful that it enables one to practically proclaim and carry out one’s own earthly destiny. That gift, need I remind you again, is the control that you have over your own mind.” -1
My mind (which I consider the part of me that does all of my ‘thinking’) was put into a cookie cutter mold for 30 years! After time I was unable to think any other way and it was scary and terrifying. I just didn’t know HOW to feel! I depended on a cult leader’s teachings to TELL ME HOW TO FEEL.
I believed it all and even began forcing it on my own kids.
That cult got 3 generations of my family tree!
Part of the cult explored your deepest thoughts, hopes and dreams. You openly and willingly shared this information to have it “judged”. If they were “wrong” then you were sent to fix that thinking – more brain washing to remove that critical thinking or dream that was NOT part of the cult leader’s master plan.
30 years. Dripping on me and telling me how to THINK PROPERLY.
Now, 2019, I can feel things I did not LET MYSELF FEEL. Like grief.
Maybe having 3 decades of it and not being allowed to FEEL grief have suddenly hit me like a tsunami and when I feel emotional I REALLY get pushed to the edge. I’m so delicate now and feel so much pain for OTHER PEOPLE and worry and concern that they are OK. I can’t sleep at night because of it. I wake up every 2 or 3 hours worried about things.
The day my cousin Bekah passed away, 5/23/19 at 5:23am, I was awake staring at the ceiling at 3:14am (I always pick up my phone to see what time it is HOPING it’s close to 6:00am). I knew Bekah was on her last days of life on earth and had spent hours crying all by myself at home while I cleaned, ironed, cooked, worked on our business…just so much crying and sadness and the feeling of UNFAIRNESS and INJUSTICE on someone that was so good.
In the darkness I focused on that original question: why are we here and what’s the point? I did it with a feeling of anger and hate just pushed out there in the universe not really directed toward anyone or anything. Maybe you get what I mean on that feeling?
I have lots of questions for Bekah.
I began making a list of all of the beautiful people I’ve known and beautiful creatures I’ve cared for myself or known personally that have passed away. It was depressing and way longer than i realized.
Maybe one post I’ll just put it all out there for the world to see…
In the meantime, I realized one thing I could offer that I wish my cousin Bekah had, my mom, Amanda, my Grandpa William MacCaughey, my Grandma Mary Kay Xanders, my uncle David MacCaughey…what was their life story? What secrets did they go to the “next place” carrying? What questions did I have unanswered? I want to know!!!! I want details.
I care so much and I’m TOO LATE. I’M TOO LATE.
Have you ever considered putting your story into words?
I heard a fantastic radio show host last week put it perfectly. I’ll paraphrase it (I was driving at the time and had no way to document it without taking my hands off the wheel and we’d just had 2 feet of snow overnight so I was being super-careful!)
“If you want something to be remembered you have to write it down. Put it in PRINT. Videos and sound bytes are fun and entertaining but I don’t see people keeping this at their fingertips.”
A book or a diary or a memoir is a place to share your thoughts. It can be closed shut at any point and placed on a shelf for decades or a century or a day.
I realize more now than ever: you are a sincerely amazing person and you should write down your stories and your experiences. Your favorite things, like color or movies that influenced you and why. It’s an encyclopedia of YOU that would be the best legacy. It doesn’t have to be a perfect piece of work. What would you give to know more about your own parents, a best friend or family member that has passed?
What question would you ask them today? What confuses you about the history you DO know about them?
I have a million questions…
Would you like to have your story written?
I’ll help you.
-1 Success Habits Radio Program 1952 Paris Missouri, by Napoleon Hill Chapter 5 Applied Faith
Today I was minding my own business here at home with two dogs and a cat feverishly cleaning themselves and up pops a text from my friend Missy…
“We just saw your daughter on tv.”
Oh ya, we got rid of TV/Cable just last week. Mostly because we rarely watch it and our TV set is a smart one, so we can potentially get the weather and news details we need through some app.
I rushed to the internet as I texted back, “which one and what channel?”
Almost instant reply: “Channel 2”
The Channel 2 News website loaded quickly… “INFAMOUS MURDER HOUSE GOES UP FOR SALE” was the headline.
Hmmm…which daughter would that include. Please let it be something else! I scanned fast… Morgan had been in LA so maybe she was part of some filming and Claire lives and works in Santa Barbara so maybe she was in on some fun thing at the house?
Luckily the next text arrived, “Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation”
Little Claire was part of a super cool segment about what she’s been working on for over 2 years at a company called NEXT Energy.
One day, I hope, she will write the story of her childhood into adulthood. It is a page-turner filled with serious highs and lows.
So to see her where she is today is not a surprise for me, as her mom.
She was ALWAYS determined to get what she wanted. It was a delicate place to be because, well, I was pretty much the same way. She didn’t know how her behavior would be an almost perfect replication of mine. Even my mom would give me the “look” that indicated I deserved exactly what she was dishing out at the moment.
I don’t know how my mom survived raising me!
Claire is working on making the world a better place for everyone. Window panes that you can clearly see through, that generate energy! Every building in every town could generate power this way. Every home could generate energy beyond solar panels on the roof. It’s clean energy and our kid is part of it.
We are very proud of all of our kids and the path they have chosen to “ADULT”.
Claire’s Grandma Mary May and Miss Silvestro (Claire’s favorite teacher, 1st Grade) would be proud too. Does anyone know Miss Silvestro or where we can find her to stay in touch!? She was a 1st Grade Teacher at Mountain Avenue in La Crescenta California.
I’m proud to admit that I earned a few Certifications (following in my family’s footsteps) in using things or reusing things to solve problems. Wire hangers, duct tape, TP rolls…you know, standard stuff.
I went out on a limb using my apple bag as a way to start seeds growing for outdoor planting when the weather stops being psycho here.
About two weeks ago I put dirt and seeds in this bag. It has small holes in the bottom. I shook it a little to make sure the seeds and dirt were combined. Added a little water (until it seeped through). Left it in a dark place with zero sunlight. A few days ago found seedlings peeking out so brought it into my brightly lit room with plenty of sunshine and set it on the floor beneath a window (not DIRECT sun).
We had more psycho weather but it included sunshine.
Look at my spectacular seeds!
Now I’ll be able to remove them from this incubator system (protected from my cat eating them) and plant them in their own growing pot. I forgot to label them (I actually did not think this would work) but I THINK I planted kale or lettuce).
Schools can use this idea to teach the kids about recycling AND planting seeds to watch them grow…then take the bag home to plant in a garden.
Please try it or share this idea – it’s too simple and WORKS!
PS: Are sprouts cute? I mean really, look at them!
Today I was headed out on errands (which we have to thoroughly plan in advance because of the distance to civilization). Last minute I decided to bring Kona and Zoey with me. I’ve been taking them with me for the past 4 days just for the fun/stimulation of riding with the windows open (the weather has been 50-60 and sunny!).
We got my errands finished and I stopped at an open field to let them stretch out a little… then I remembered there was this dog park a customer told me about near a mountain I’d hiked with Randy. I figured (wrongly) it was just up the road.
I had a lot I needed to get done and WAS going to leave the dogs at home and sit at a coffee house with good signal and no distractions and get it all done…but I had them with me and they were being SO GOOD! I got my GPS up to find this amazing dog park (according to that customer)… “it’s amazing! it’s got an agility dog park that is about an acre and then there are 7 acres where the dogs run freeeeee!”
Kona was going to write me a Thank You Note after this one, I bet.
I get off the freeway (which I hate being on because EVERYONE starts at 75mph as a minimum…LIMIT?? WHAT??).
The gps took me UNDER a set of rail road tracks, over two sets of track (I do not like to do trains at all). I was in a panic that a train would come through and actually started sweating.
Then the GPS took me to a dirt road – remote – by myself I’m driving in my POS 1999 Camry that squeaks, rattles and rolls forward (miracles)…oh and it stops when necessary since I discovered I was at 1% on my brakes and HAD to get them fixed!!
The dirt road had pot holes the size of filing cabinet drawers (open) everywhere.
I was zigging and zagging…then I saw what looked like a Trail Head entrance.
I rolled up and into this super muddy and snowy and icy parking lot where there was ONE car and a trail bike rider cleaning her bike/gear (or prepping to go). I pulled into the SOUP of mud and remembered Randy had just washed Zoey last night (crap). Hmmmm…I saw the agility park off in the distance and slowly navigated the pothole parking lot and mud to that parking lot. Two cars. Well two TRUCKS.
I saw the 7 acre area entrance and it looked LESS muddy. I parked close as I could without looking like I was “Hollywood”** (Shannon).
Opening the door I stepped out INTO the gravy level of mud in my regular running shoes. Clearly I wasn’t prepared for this. My shoes were sucked into the muck for a split second. I definitely hesitated sitting back on my seat and glanced in the rearview mirror at 2 sets of anxious and excited eyes with tongues dangling down in anticipation. CRAP. I have to do it.
I hauled myself up and out balancing with the door open.
My car locks automatically/randomly and I have locked myself out ONCE – now I’m paranoid and careful…and paranoid…and paranoid…and careful. If I dropped my ONLY key I wondered if it would work in the ignition (to myself, no one was around…Kona was focused on the 7acres).
SLOOOOWLY I opened the back door to release the hounds. Kona bolted out and I stopped Zoey planning to carry her tubby butt over the mud to the dog park “free range” area. Like a purse that is way too full and ALIVE she “let” me place her on my hip while I shut my doors – triple checking I HAD MY KEYS IN MY POCKET. I think I check every 4 minutes out of habit.
I carry her to the middle pen area that most dog parks have to stage their dogs removing the lead. It was just as bad but on an angle and I had to walk UP slippery mud to get to the 2nd door and release Kona. He was busy smelling every piss spot – like EVERY SINGLE PISS SPOT.
I was losing hold of Zoey and she was getting more wiggly. She’s is sort of like a big Cheeto that rotates at this point. I’m SCREAMING at Kona (pissed because he AGAIN is ignoring me). He felt the “Imma ’bout to take my shoe off and throw it at you” energy and nonchalant-like wandered toward the second gate.
Zoey was slipping down to my thigh area and I hurried to secure the chain/gate.
More Uphill and it is a miracle I wasn’t sliding down every 2 steps up would be one step sliding back.
Zoey CONTINUED to wiggle. THERE WAS NO PLACE TO SET HER DOWN that wasn’t a pocky-muddy-mess. The “snow” was a trick – beneath it was goo quicksand-style mud that would suck your boot off.
I looked for “dry” areas and set her down as carefully as I could. She did ONE MORE ARCH-TWISTY-WIGGLE to get her balance and landed on HER FREAKING SIDE. MUD. MUD everywhere.
I just started laughing out loud – Kona looked at me then continued seeking/sniffing every piss spot on the entire perimeter of the 7 acres.
About 40 yards in Zoey has left a poop and LUCKILY I had poop bags because another patron was standing there akimbo with her two big dogs watching me to MAKE SURE I PICKED UP THE POOP. I laughed again.
This was a comedy, right?
Zoey did not dig getting dirty and muddy and she slowed her roll. Kona, not so much. He was in olfactory HEAVEN. Once he got bored smelling THE FENCE he leapt off toward a dog that was there and tails were wagging.
Zoey went EVEN SLOWER and now she was doing her “I’m blind and I’m deaf” move stopping for 30 seconds just looking around “lost”.
I had to double back to convince her we’d only go PART of the 7 acres, promise. I guess she understood me because she picked up the pace a bit.
I decided to hang a hard right and go across the entire field toward the other fence. It was basically a replication of the parking lot and my feet were soaked inside my shoes beyond caring anymore.
I just WALKED into it all knowing the dogs were going to destroy my car.
We made it across then back to the pen area.
I got two super happy dogs into my car which is definitely destroyed (the back seat anyway). Of course Zoey, whose head was NOT muddy…just up to her neck area and under carriage, decided to shake over and over.
Mud specks are everywhere.
So, all of this today because I put my dog’s fun ahead of my busy life too.
It was WORTH IT because they had a blast and are now curled up snoring in front of the fire place. Awwwwwww…
** Parking “Hollywood” was created at our business 805 Boot Camp when one particular boot camper showed up to a parallel parking (along the road) situation and we watched her (there were maybe 12 of us) scoot into a spot nicely. The “Hollywood” part was because the opening was good enough to fit 2 cars but she put herself SMACK in the middle. For the record, she got a good chuckle out of it when she got up to where we were standing and saw…she even got a Golden Award for it! This is Shannon and her Momma who also got a Golden Award for keeping a food journal for a RECORD BREAKING amount of time (I cannot remember how long – like 60 Tours or something!!!).