Day 5

At the prompting of Patti Digh (and life, and timing, and the universe), I'm doing one thing every day for 37 Days, and sharing that journey here. You can read about what I'm doing in this post.

A partial list of the concerts I've been to, in no particular order:

The Kinks
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Elton John
Simon & Garfunkel
The Cars
Cheap Trick
Harry Chapin
The Grateful Dead (many, many times)
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Billy Joel
Lou Reed
Christopher Cross
Adrian Belew w/The Bears
Adrian Belew (solo)
Richard Thompson
John Cougar
Tom Chapin
The Eagles
Pink Floyd (with Roger Waters, before the split)
The Who
James Taylor
Paul McCartney
John Denver
Tom Petty
The Allman Brothers
Little Feat (many times)
The Rolling Stones
Steve Miller Band
Bonnie Raitt
Talking Heads
Jeff Healey
Roger Waters
Mary Chapin Carpenter
John Fogerty
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Eric Clapton
David Bowie
Fleetwood Mac
Phil Collins
Michelle Shocked
Robert Plant
Joe Satriani
Jerry Garcia Band
Nanci Griffith
John Prine
Peter Gabriel
Robert Plant
The Go-Go's
Linda Ronstadt
The Bee Gees
Rod Stewart
Dar Williams
King Crimson (w/Adrian Belew)
Carlos Santana
Catie Curtis
Patty Griffin
Bela Fleck & The Flecktones (the first time I saw them was also my first acid trip. Holy moly.)
Jimmy Buffett
Neil Young
Medeski, Martin & Wood
Doc Watson
Paul Simon
Loudon Wainwright III
Allison Krauss
Emmylou Harris
Reel Big Fish
Steve Vai
Amy Steinberg
Laurie Lewis
Duncan Sheik

That's the big, national acts; I've seen many, many local singer/songwriters and bands, too.

There's nothing else like live music.


Day 4

At the prompting of Patti Digh (and life, and timing, and the universe), I'm doing one thing every day for 37 Days, and sharing that journey here. You can read about what I'm doing in this post.

I haven't had a date in 5 years. (And that's had in all senses of the word.)

There are reasons, sure, but, actually it's something I don't think about that often, until I do think about it, then it seems sad and unnecessary. So I just don't think about it that much.

After my husband and I separated, my heart got broken, big time. You'd think an ended marriage would do that, right? Well, this was after the marriage - Though if I'm being honest, emotionally, it started after my husband and I decided to separate, but before we actually did. The relationship was intense and passionate, over the phone and IM, anyway, since it was a long-distance thing. I have never been left feeling the way I felt over this man - I was, literally, curled up on the floor in pain when it ended. It took months - months! - for me to even hear his name without going pale. He didn't treat me so well. I didn't even look at anyone for over a year, because of the pain I'd been in. That had never, ever happened to me before, in the twenty-something years I'd spent dating, I had never, ever been in so much pain because of another person before.

It was a growth experience.

So it took a several years before I even wanted to date anyone. After that... well, I'm just not in circles where I'm gonna be meeting a bunch of people. I would have to put myself out there, and I don't feel comfortable doing that. Maybe it's that I don't want to be vulnerable like that? I'm not sure.

I did get together one afternoon, with a former boss. We stayed in touch after my temp job was over, he was smart, and funny. We e-mailed about little things. One day, he asked me for coffee, just on the spur of the moment. I went - it didn't feel like a date. I was open to dating, but this just felt like... hanging out. We had good conversation, we laughed... and he never, ever e-mailed me again, nor did he answer mine. OK - I saw the Sex & the City episode and read the book - He Just Wasn't That Into Me, I can handle it. But it was weird.

A good friend - very, very dear friend - says it's 'cause I'm SO awesome, he was intimidated by me. Ha. I'll go with that.

Then there was Handsome Married Man. Um, married. And, really, I've gotten to know him better since my infatuation, and I'm very glad we were never together in that way. I've also gotten to know his wife better, which I highly recommend if you're ever interested in a married person - get to know their spouse. Because she's a lovely, brilliant woman and I wouldn't want to do anything to cause her pain. Not to mention, I can easily see she's the glue in their family; she helped make him into the beautiful man he is. I don't need the pressure to be that for someone.

I'm not interested in finding a step-parent for the boys, I think a marriage and separation are a lot to deal with already (I was a single mom when I met my ex-husband; he and I had Seth together). I don't think I want a relationship relationship, just because I can't imagine meeting anyone special enough to introduce to the boys. But a date might be nice. Friends with benefits, maybe?

Except for those dates with John Cusack in my head, or that dalliance with Liv Tyler, I've been alone. I like being alone, there's a lot about it that suits me, but I get lonely sometimes. And I think I have a lot to offer, too, in the way of friendship and support. And - I'd kinda like to get laid. That would be a good thing.

Who knows? I'm open to meeting someone, but not interested in pursuing anything. I'm incredibly picky. I hope if someone is ever interested in me, that they're incredibly picky, too. I'm starting to feel restless on the weekends that the boys are with their Dads, it's starting to get on my nerves to be at home with Food Network or Netflix, me and and the dog and the cats. This could be the year!

Or not.

(No wonder I haven't had a date!)


Day 3

At the prompting of Patti Digh (and life, and timing, and the universe), I'm doing one thing every day for 37 Days, and sharing that journey here. You can read about what I'm doing in this post.

So. Well. I pray the rosary. As in, the Catholic church one, with the beads and Mary and all. I am not Catholic, nor was I raised Catholic. When I started, I had to google to see exactly what the rosary was, and how it was said.

It started a few years ago... almost 3 years ago, now. I do have a regular meditation practice (hi, Deirdre! It can change your whole life! But don't think about that, OK?), and when I meditated, I would frequently see Mary, right in the center of my heart. Yep, that Mary - mother of Jesus. I was surprised the first time I saw her! But the love I felt was so intense, and the peace so profound, that I welcomed her... well, I welcomed her with an open heart.

I have a little history with Mary, which I'll have to tell you about in another post. Hmmm... that's two "other posts" I've found to do, and I've just started this writing every day thing. Cool!

She wasn't a complete stranger, I'll just say that for now. We (my mom, sisters and I) attended a Methodist church when I was growing up, but it wasn't something we really talked about at home. We stopped going to that church when I was about 13 or so, and I never really thought about faith, religion, or spirituality at all until I was around 23 or 24. And wow, *there's* several stories there, or maybe it's all just one big story, about my awakening and exploration at that point. But none of that involved Mary at all - for me, personally, anyway. On a conscious level.

I don't identify as Christian - I'm Unitarian Universalist. I won't go into detail about my beliefs, here, but I do think Jesus is a pretty cool guy, who had some amazing stuff to teach.

Anyway, so I would see Mary, just kneeling - being Mary. This went on for months, then one day, I saw she was handing me something. What? What's she got there? I could see her, offering me something, holding it out. It was rosary beads!

My first thought? "I've gotta get some rosary beads!" Where do you even find those? Aren't they supposed to be blessed or something? I was out walking the dog the next day, thinking about all that, when I realized: she wasn't offering me BEADS, she was offering me: THE ROSARY. Bless my sweet little materialistic heart, it wasn't about the beads. Oh, I just laughed and laughed. Then called my sister, who had converted to Catholicism a few years before that. We had a wonderful conversation about the rosary, she told me her understanding of it - and she also said she believes it's a very, very powerful prayer.

I didn't get any beads (still don't have any, actually!), but I went online and found out about the rosary, and started saying it, with my little print out of what to say on which days, etc. right along beside me. I had said it for a couple of days, when one day, as I was saying it, I just started cracking. up. I mean, laughing until tears rolled down my cheeks. 'Cause you know what it says? Part of the words of the rosary are, "Holy Mary, mother of God..." Mother. of God. I mean: The Mother! Of Go-o-o-o-o-d. How freakin' powerful is THAT? If God is all, and God is love... and Mary is the MOTHER of God... Uhhh... That's somethin', right there. It sure is. And I feel like here's this secret that was kept from me for all these years, that here was a woman, and she gave. birth. to God. I mean, I know, spirit of service and all that, but - still. Wow.

I've come to believe that Mary is a protector of children, and a helper for families - among other things. I have received what felt like guidance after praying the rosary, and it's always, every single time, led to amazing things and a bigger life and more love.

I'm not suggesting to anyone that they need to pray the rosary - I just totally followed my heart on this one. I don't think about it very much, try to rationalize or mentally understand. I just know that praying the rosary brings me peace, and sometimes, a fire for love and an even-wider open heart, so I'm gonna keep doing it.

I think of Mary as a friend, now - which makes me laugh, 'cause I know some people make fun of people who believe in God by saying they have an imaginary friend. But Mary? She lives in my heart, and I can tune in to her vibe at any time, and her vibe is bright light and love and protection - and sometimes, anger and action, 'cause she's a mom, after all, and we gotta keep it real.

I've tried to write this post before, several times since I started blogging, but I felt like I'd be misunderstood or people would jump to conclusions about what it means, so I didn't, I was afraid. But in the safe space of this 37 Days cocoon, I can do it.

So I have.

Namaste ~


Day 2

At the prompting of Patti Digh (and life, and timing, and the universe), I'm doing one thing every day for 37 Days, and sharing that journey here. You can read about what I'm doing in this post.

Day #2

My confession: I have a messy house. Frequently, a dirty house. Almost all the time. It has been this way... forever, I think. My room when I was young would get overwhelmingly messy, until my Mom made me and my sisters clean it. When I moved out on my own... OK, actually, the first time I moved out on my own, my place was clean. Like, OCD clean. Everything had its place, and I worked meticulously to make sure everything STAYED in its place. I was one of those people that if something on my table was one-quarter inch away from where it "should" be, I couldn't rest until I'd made it right. Wow, I hadn't thought about that in a long time.

But now? I don't let people in. If you have a friend who, when you pick her up, she meets you outside her door, or if you bring something by, she meets you at the door and doesn't let you in? More than likely, she's messy. And ashamed.

I'm not gonna be posting pictures or anything, nor painting a picture with words about how messy my home is. Just trust me: it's messy.

I don't leave food out, and the litter box is scooped. And over time, things have gotten better, bit by bit. There's a whole other post about having the boys clean with me, and why my house is the way it is - but that's a whole other post.

For right now, I'll say - I'm using my energy for what's important to me, and what's important to me is connecting with the boys, being with them, doing things together - NOT coercing them or manipulating them into cleaning.

I've done a whole lot of healing work around this, writing, looking at it from every angle. Lots of a-ha moments and insights and change and growth. And it's culminated into this:

The second thing I'm going to do every day for 37 days? Take at least 15 minutes and clean. Every day. I've done that these past two days, and it feels good. I've done it before - I got the FlyLady e-mails, and followed that program until I didn't. I always get to a point where I just stop. I had a BIG insight into that the last time my kitchen was relatively clean - I guess I'll share that in the "other post" I was writing about earlier.

I used to carry LOTS more shame about my messy home - but shame doesn't serve anyone, it wasn't helpful. I say I'm not shameful now - but I sure wouldn't let you in to my house! I guess my shame has lessened, because I used to hide this, not tell anyone. Now, most people who know me a little know about it. Some have even come in. Some have loved me, anyway.

So, that's the second thing about me. If you want to come over, let me know, and we'll talk about it, and maybe I'll let you in - if a messy house doesn't freak you out. Don't pretend! But if you want, and you're OK with it, I'll let you in.

I'm letting you in a little bit right now.


37 Days, Facebook, and the "Real" Me

Humorous Pictures

Hi. So, it's uh, been a while since I posted here. I'm quite good at ignoring things that come up, until I can't ignore them any more, so I didn't even realize that something had come up until last week, in a conversation with a friend.

Here's what I came to realize: I'm on facebook, and I have been *loving* that site. I had been invited to join before, but it took Patti Digh starting a group for 37 Days to actually get me on there. I was a member for a while before I started looking for friends and being active, and now that I am - I love it! Unschoolers are a very spread out lot, we have friends from all over the country - the world! - and facebook allows these luscious glimpses into what they're up to. It's a wonderful way to connect. I rarely do any of the applications, like throw stuff, send gifts, etc. I use it to post updates, and read others' pages. I've gotten to know some people better, and have even made new friends! I know it's not hip to say - but it's really cool! After I'd been on there a while, a cousin found me. My maternal grandmother had 15 kids, so just on that side of the family I have 51 cousins. I hadn't even thought about family! So, add a few of the cousins. Just recently, I was contacted by people from high school; they're planning a 26th reunion and are finding people. I have mixed feelings about that, school as a whole was tough for me - but sure, I'll add ya. Through that, I was contacted by folks from elementary school. Now that felt really weird, thinking about that time in my life. They posted some pics from back in the day, and I e-mailed the link to my sisters, who are not on facebook, but one of my brothers-in-law is, so we became facebook friends...

It started to feel weird, to have all these pieces of my life in one place. I'm OK with it, it's just... OK, here's the thing. I honestly don't know who I was in elementary school. Or, really, junior high or high school, either. I mostly felt lost and alone. I was very school smart, and had a desire to please, so I made good grades (until I sabotaged that sometimes). I was nerdy and socially awkward. My family didn't have much money, so I dressed funny - which I was totally unaware of. I just remember feeling separate from most things, feeling that everyone besides me had gotten some kind of handbook for living that I somehow got skipped over for. How did people have so many friends? How did they know what to say, and what not to say? How did they know what was IN, and be doing that very thing? I was clueless.

Man, seeing those elementary pictures was weird. It brought all those feelings up. I have no idea how people perceived me back then. I know I was laughed at - a lot. I also know a few years ago, I saw someone from high school, and I said something about how odd and awkward I felt back then, and she was surprised! She said, "Oh, my gosh, I always thought you were so stuck up! You were SO smart!" Huh? Me? Stuck up? I was... nothing. What did I have to be stuck up about?

So, anyway - all of these "me"s, all together in one place. Several years ago, my goal was to be myself no matter who I was with - I wasn't going to be one person at work, another person at home, still another with friends. I'm me! And I think I'm kinda okay, so I wanted to be ME. For years, like every area was separate. And I used to lie! Wow, I hadn't thought about that in a long time. I used to lie, used to hide pieces of myself from people. I haven't done that in AGES. I am me, wholly and completely, wherever I go. But - back when some of these people knew me, I wasn't.

And I remembered that I link to this blog on facebook, so it's possible some of those people could click over and read here... (eek!) I thought about deleting the link, but that goes against the whole being me thing. So I just didn't post. After I friended (? how do you say that?) my brother-in-law, I went back and read or skimmed over everything I had written on here. That helped me realize - I don't have anything to hide! This place where I reveal the true me and my thoughts is revealing someone I like a lot and I think is a pretty fine woman. The not-posting wasn't done consciously, I just kept finding other things to do. Until last week, and the realization that what I was doing was hiding.

So, here I am! And in a nice bit of timing, Patti Digh is asking people to commit to doing one thing every day for 37 Days, starting today. From her book, Life is a Verb:

Perhaps it’s something simple like cleaning out one drawer every day in your house for thirty-seven days. Perhaps writing one Haiku every day for thirty-seven days would break old patterns and help you see more. Or eating five fruits and vegetables a day or writing for ten minutes each day or walking for ten minutes a day or writing a postcard to a friend each week. Or pick one of the 37days Do it Now Challenges at the close of each of these stories and do it for thirty-seven days. Whatever it is, however small, do it. Just for thirty-seven days.

That’s doable. Decide on It, the Thing You Will Do. And then, do it.

Perhaps it is something you will stop doing for thirty-seven days. Stop hiding, stop spending, stop smoking, stop making excuses, stop blaming or judging, stop eating Raspberry Frosted Pop-Tarts® with Sprinkles (purely hypothetical example).

So, my thing I'm going to do for 37 Days? I'm going to reveal one thing about myself on here, on my blog, for 37 days, posting every day, starting today. Not exactly secrets, because some people know as much about me as it's possible for another person to know... just 37 things, about me. Revealing myself. Being me, wherever I go, including the wilds of facebook.

Thing about me #1 - (OK, I need to find a catchier way to phrase that if I'm gonna be doing this for 37 days!) What I revealed above. That my school years were awkward and scary much of the time, that I felt lost, that I felt alone and unseen, that I was laughed at. I don't talk about that much, and my facebook experience let me know there's still some healing to allow. So - now you know something about me you might not have known before!

I'm also going to be doing something else for these 37 Days, a more action-oriented thing. I'll tell ya about that later.

It's nice to be back.


March Forth

I was thinking last night of my experience with Art Every Day Month, and how much I enjoyed exploring, creating art every day for the month of November. Giving myself freedom to make mistakes, freedom to create... and without that framework of creating and posting every day, I haven't so much as picked up a brush.

I recently read an article about shifting your vibration to manifest, and it spoke *so* clearly to me - it was essentially saying the same things I've read over and over, but the way Steve put it made it so much more REAL for me. It helped me see LOA in a different way, that it's about making changes on a deeper level - and those changes start with the choices I make every day.

Then, today, I read another good article about how, when you're changing, it's possible you're not going to be comfy and excited. If you're changing, plenty of times you'll be cranky and discomfitted and unsure. Another much-needed reminder.

AND just now, I went to check out Soulemama's blog for my daily dose of peace and creativity - and babies!, she had posted a link to the video below:

Even when I'm feeling a bit stuck, even when I'm secretly thinking I'll never change, my circumstances won't change, I'm going to be struggling forever, and I'll never bloom into what I could be... tendrils of possibility weave their way into my life, reminding me it's all feasible. A life more free, doing what I really want to be doing, having more time for the boys and more resources to travel and do what we wish - we can do it. It can happen. The shift will come, a bit at a time.

I know it starts with appreciating what we have, with loving this moment, NOW. So, just to fill up my inbox from the universe, Amy Steinberg linked to this card, here: Gratitude Garden (do it!) and it reminded me that what we love grows. What I focus on will multiply, filling this moment and creating seeds for the next.

Deep breath. February's over. Spring is on the way: new growth, new life. Meltwater rushing from the frozen lake can move even the most stubborn of boulders, creating rich earth for green shoots to take root.

I can feel it, just a tiny bit - can you?