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Monday, November 10, 2014

Taking a deep breath

I'm supposed to be writing a lesson plan about Bartok and fashioning it so that it can be delivered by one of my graduate assistants in class on Wednesday. I should have had it to her last week. However, life got in the way and I didn't. I've promised it to her tonight. It will be delivered on time.

For almost a decade I've talked in this blog. There was a time when I wrote nearly every day. I had been silent for a very long time. It was as though someone opened the floodgates and from that point, the words would not stop.

In the past three months, however, I'm feeling a need to stop talking. This is not a churlish desire to garner attention-- I really don't want that. I am uncomfortable in the limelight of my own story, my own thoughts. I have always believed that what I say has importance to me, alone.

My conversation now, has become a recitation of my experiences teaching classes this semester. I hide behind those words. What I want to say will not come out. Something stops it. The days of being open, of sharing who I am, seem to be coming to an end.

I could blame my busy life, except that in the past decade I have made time to practice closeness with other people, and my life is no busier now than any other time. I could blame stress, but I have definitely had more stressful times. I suppose the truth is that I'm just ready to stop talking.

There have definitely been some events that have led me to this place, but those are really irrelevant, and very likely foolish imaginings on my part. Regardless, in looking at the whole picture, silence seems the best course of action.

And so tonight, to any readers who have come and gone, and to those who valiantly remain, "In case I don't see you-- good afternoon, good evening and good night."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I am funny, and fierce, and very tall.

I am feeling fierce once again.

That sounds weird unless you know me. It used to be a part of who I am. I was fiercely determined to do what was necessary to have joy and beauty-- always. I was fierce about loving people and defending them. I was fiercely loyal, and energetic, and successful. And I was tall, too.

Okay, that last part is a lie.

But then I got tired. Life threw me curve balls faster than I could catch them and throw them back. I am lamentably horrible at softball (much to the chagrin of my people). All the routines and coping mechanisms and peaceful moments were stripped away, to be replaced with pain of all kinds. I felt helpless and defeated. Life felt too difficult to live.

I'm still tired. I still feel defeated. But creeping back to me when I least expect it is that fierceness that was a normal part of my life a few years ago. And what that means is this:

1. I will not allow myself to quit. It doesn't matter how tired I am, I will finish what I started.
2. I will not be used by other people. I will interact. I will support and care, But I will have healthy boundaries.
3. I will not be a convenience, nor will I be an incidental occurrence. You will adore me and I will adore you back, or I will treat you courteously, as I do my business associates. The choice is not yours, nor mine alone, but belongs to us both. Whatever the outcome, I am finished feeling that I am at the mercy of another person.
4. I will be healthy. Now that I have complete mobility back, I will stop feeling sorry for myself and take care of my body with its bionic hip. I will be better, faster, and stronger.
5. I will enjoy the moments of my life, or die trying. They only come once. Even the nasty ones go away at some point.
6. I will allow happiness. For me, happy is a natural state of being, but sometimes I squash it out of spite. It's time for that to stop. I'm being churlish. I like being happy. It's time.
7. No matter what comes in the future, I can manage my attitude about it. And I will.
8. If you are someone I love, I am going to love you like crazy. Get used to it and try to enjoy it because that's not going to change. Don't even think about making me stop loving you.
9. I need flowers.
10. And chocolate.

There is a very good chance that I'm finding myself once again. And that's a good thing, because I'm a pretty terrific person. I laugh frequently (and sometimes inappropriately), make terrible jokes, smile perpetually, and give hugs spontaneously. Sometimes I make up superb recipes. I can misquote nearly anything that was ever written. I don't ever get earworms, but sometimes I get hiccups. I have enormous energy. I love to dance, do cartwheels, read, and make music. If we play a game, there's a good chance that I'll win. If we go on a walk, I'll drive you crazy every time I stop to look at the flowers, or the birds, or the bugs. Perhaps, now that I'm rediscovering myself, you should take a second and discover me, as well.