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First year’s end brings me home

December 30, 2010

I woke up this morning having dreamed of Jane from PlaneJaner’s Journey.  I emailed her to tell her of my dream and as I was writing tears stung my eyes.  I don’t very often feel teary these days.  Since radiation injured my vagus nerve, I’ve been on a med that blunts butterflies, goosepimples and nerve excitability (neuropathy) in my arms and hands.  It also seems to blunt my emotions (and my sexual response–blush!).  So,  tears for me are not a ready response to Hallmark commercials, chick flicks, and other touching, and sappy stimuli.

So, what’s with the tears today?  As I wrote, and subsequently copied the email to Wendy (see Herding Cats in Hammond), who told me she missed me,  I knew I needed to get back “home.”  And there, serendipitously, was  Jane’s December 28 blog  counseling me to STOP and remember who I always wanted to be.  So who is that?

I can’t say that I’ve always wanted to write — but I’ve written a journal off and on for 40 years.  So, I guess you could say I’ve written to myself.  The “me” that I’ve discovered over the years is a likeable young woman (even though I am now eligible for social security!)  She is very earnest; tries very hard to please, be successful and kind – most of the time.  I find it odd that I list those four qualities in the same sentence, since together  they have caused a slew of my inner and outer conflicts over the years. However, they also represent what makes me likeable.  I like the fact that I am likeable.

Writing in my journal on my blog has been a way of sorting out what’s important.   Years ago I read in Robert Johnson’s She, a popular book from a Jungian perspective, that one of the tasks a woman undertakes as she is in the process of emerging as her true self  is to sort seeds.  A woman sorts all kinds of “seeds” as she moves from childhood through all the phases of womanhood:  dolls, rocks, shells, beans, laundry, papers, toys, groceries, wounds, gifts, photos, alpacas, etc. etc. etc.  Sorting is what I do – and I do it well.

When I lived on Vashon Island, my favorite place to “poke” was Robinson Point – a pebbly beach that offered countless hours of searching, touching, and collecting  bags and bags of polished stones.  That was Saturday afternoons.  Sundays would find me on the wooden deck dumping and sorting the bags by size, or color, or shape.  It didn’t matter.  The beauty was in the sorting, the touching, the seeing, the coolness of the stones.  Those bags are probably still hidden in the eaves of the house.  I thought I’d return and collect them, but I haven’t.  BTW, I know this sounds like a child’s pastime, but I was in my forties when I lived there!

Writing this blog is probably my most intimate and important-to-me pastime.  And I haven’t really written since September?  October?  I’ve posted, but I haven’t allowed myself to spend the time writing.  Life has taken me over with the tasks that seem sometimes so much more important than that which feeds my soul.  I’ve known every day I  avoided opening my dashboard that I was ransoming my soul to the gods of stuff and business, but the activities seemed important to me, to my contribution to the world, to setting right the wrongs and inequities that fellow narrow-minded citizens have perpetrated upon other fellow disenfranchised citizens.  I abhor injustice.  I don’t mind putting my energies toward working for justice.  But this activity comes at a price.  And my tears bear witness to my soul’s deficit. 

Why is everything important to me “a waste of time”?  Here is where my willingness to please and be kind and successful sells me out to what the world counts as important.  I am earnest to a fault in making a go of it in society and the world.  And I earnestly am wasting my life sorting through activities and belongings that I’ve chosen.  They are choking the very breath out of me.  Too much.  Too many.  I’m inundated.

 I wish I didn’t care so much.  I wish I could turn a blind eye and a heartless countenance on the orphaned animals in shelters; or the friends fired or put down because they are or “appear to be” LGBTQetc.; or children who are getting lousy educations because our ignorant governor and legislators have cut education budgets to such a degree that kids are 40 to a class, in classrooms without heat or air conditioning or janitorial services or school supplies; or kids who are being bullied because they are differently abled, or Muslim, or LGBTQ, or geeks, or Hispanic, or black, or white.  How can I look up each morning and say, “Oh, sorry!  I have to blog or my soul will be sore!” ?  Nope, sorry!  I have to email, or phone, or write, or speak, or organize, or type lists, or whatever my skills offer to help rectify these abominations (intentional choice of word here!). Not to mention I have bills to pay, too.

So, I acknowledge the soreness of my soul, my absence at the writing place, my loss of time with my dearest friends, and I say to myself,  “O.K., girl.  You contributed in your small way to the success of DADT; you’ll continue to lobby and write and call and fuss to your ignorant state government in this new legislative session; you’ll help the animals whenever and however you can; and you’ll write your heart out when you can.  And your loving friends will continue to love you even if you don’t blog regularly because they are, in fact, your friends.

When I’m not writing I know I am engaging in the very earnest pursuit of justice, of tikkun olam—healing our world—one heartbeat at a time.  In my tiny way, I am successful in my giving of my energy to these efforts, even if the efforts themselves are not successful (Keith Allred would have been the BEST governor!).   I still struggle with having to please – guess I always will.  After all, I’m my mother’s daughter.  She’s the source of my kindness.

I guess when I ask myself today, December 30, 2010, “Who have I always wanted to be?” I have to answer earnestly, “Me!”  — clear, clean, cluttered, complicated and compassionate me.

So here’s to one year of blogging—the first!  Coming to an end and a beginning.  I can’t imagine next year’s efforts will be any different, or better, or worse.  But I’ll keep on feeding and starving and feeding and starving my poor soul.  Like my first two husbands said, “Won’t you ever be satisfied?”  Only my third and final husband knows the answer to that, but that’s another day’s blog! 

Happy New Year, everyone!



10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2010 5:27 pm

    “Won’t you ever be satisfied” I have done a complete personality analysis of you this post. Easy because you shared what a genuine person you are. You would be a wonderful and fantastic mentor to troubled children in schools. Volunteer. You have much genuine goodness to offer. You will cherish this experience and children will love you. And you can all collect pebbles or leaves and rays of sunshine and all will be much more than satisfied. Carl, history teacher 34 years, retired.

    • December 31, 2010 8:56 am

      When I was in Phoenix over Thanksgiving I helped my daughter with her new classes. She’s just returning to teaching after getting her youngest into first grade. She’s taken an overwhelming job of teaching computer to K-6. She teaches 7 45-minute classes a day. I helped her download material on 31 laptops that weren’t networked while she taught. I adored the kids up through 4th grade. The 5th and 6th graders – particularly the boys – already had attitudes and distance. But the little ones. . . I never really appreciated kids til I became a grandma.

      One class was taught by a very gentle, very young, very blonde woman. The kids were supposedly” slow” – only because, I think, they hadn’t had the luxury of a stay-at-home mom and pre-K education. All little brown faces – Hispanic, Black and Native American. I could have spent every day in that class with those angels. So appreciative of any help they got. So polite. So eager. So earnest. I thought that day that I’d love being a foster grandma here in Emmett. I have a friend in her eighties that’s been one here for 30 years. My hero!

      It’s always so hard to choose where to give my energies. Right now, I’m dedicated to fair employment, safe schools and public education funding. But, my heart strings are being pulled by those kids who need help. Believe me, if there were two of me, I’d be there in a hot minute!

      Thanks for your love and encouragement, Carl. I never responded to another of your comments. My intentions are golden!


  2. planejaner permalink
    December 30, 2010 5:51 pm

    I love you.
    You have been on my mind constantly…and I miss you.
    I look forward to more from you…soon!
    p.s. Carl is a nice guy! (Hi, Carl!) With very many encouraging things to share.

    • December 30, 2010 6:00 pm

      Rainbows. Peace.

    • December 31, 2010 8:58 am

      I’m so happy Carl is in our lives. He has such a beautiful, encouraging perspective on life. Imagine living in Haiti right now. Phew!

      I love you. And you are constantly in my heart, my thoughts AND my dreams.

  3. December 30, 2010 8:19 pm

    Oh, Nancy…so glad you’re back! Of course we still love you!

    Looking forward to more in 2011!


    • December 31, 2010 9:00 am

      I’m about to pour a cuppa and enjoy some of your past posts. I need a visit with my friend in NB. Curt and I have been dreaming of places we want to visit . I know there’s a New England/New Brunswick trip to see the leaves in the next couple of years.

      I love you, too.

  4. December 31, 2010 8:15 pm


    Hubby’s great grandmother was a wise and wonderful woman. In the letter she wrote to the family she spoke about how every time she tried to volunteer someplace, children’s hospital, church, etc. something with the family always came up and she would have to return home. It took her years to realize that no matter how much she loved it and how it fulfilled her to help others she was needed at home. That was where she belonged and was meant to be.

    If you listen with your heart you will find where your time and talents and meant to be spent. Trust others to know how to help and let them lead the fight they are meant fight while you lead the one you were meant to. You do not have to lead every charge, just support them when and where you can. Every person has their roll to play in making the world better, and sometimes all it takes to get others to step up is for them to see how committed you are to yours.

    I will always be here reading, cheering for you, and sending you love and encouragement whenever you need or write. If you don’t have my e-mail let me know and I will send it to you. All my love to you and yours in the new year!


  5. January 7, 2011 8:53 am

    I’ve been exploring your blog, as I gather you have mine, and want to thank you for this particular post, which spoke to me. I have been unemployed for more than a year, money has run out, and sometimes the effort to search for a job, juggle finances, seek and fulfill freelance commitments, “be there” for those I love, church, send off the same sort of e-mails you mentioned to politicians who probably won’t pay any attention, anyway, try to stave off panic — it all becomes too much, and the writing, which nourishes me, falls by the wayside (or I put it off because I’m afraid anything I say will just be variations on “poor me”) — and so I neglect both writing and quiet/meditation time, which, if I do them, would help me and help keep me true to myself.

    • January 7, 2011 9:31 am

      I tell you what. You and I could be prayer, no, meditation partners. I have been an avid meditator for year, except lately it seems I can choose one thing to do for myself each day, and usually it’s NOT meditation. If I knew and you knew that we were meditating together, might it not help us both get back and stay in our centers????? Let me know. You and I can email each other, if you’d like: I feel like I have a new friend in God, in love and in cats! Let me know. nancy

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