The Latest Moments as Time Flies By

Goodness, I’ve let the trials and tribulations of life get in my way.  It’s been ages since I’ve written about anything.  It’s cold, still some snow on the ground, we had carpeting issues in the house, and there are changes at my church that are weakening my connection and therefore the support I’ve relied upon while I go through my life change due to my severe sensitivity to synthetic fragrance chemicals.  Oh, and I tried going dairy free, and cut back on gluten as well, thinking it might help with my fragrance sensitivity, but this just made me feel deprived.   But hey–only two more weeks till spring! Even though this seems like it’s been a long winter, it also feels like “wow! it’s almost over already!!”  I recently read an explanation of why time flies by as you get older.  Wish I could give credit for this, but I read so many things (love that internet!) that I can’t remember what site I saw it on.  If you know, would you let me know?

The article, that I’m soooo ad libbing, talked about being a little kid, and how when you’re 5 or 10 years old, a month is a long time.  Remember how summer break seemed to last forever and you were actually glad to be going back to school because you were so bored?  If not, you had a lot of planned events in your life!  I didn’t.  My summers consisted of pretty much just gardening and housework, riding my bike and playing with the neighbor kids, running through the sprinklers and reading books.  Oh, and the 2 week vacation that I could hardly wait to get home from because we drove everywhere for a gazillion hours, and I couldn’t read or I’d get carsick.  No portable DVD players back then.  And very little TV time either, when we were home, because there wasn’t much to watch.  No world wide web either.  Ok,  I’m talking about back in the dark ages.

So here’s the thought process:  Around age 35, time starts getting away from you.  When you’re 55, that month zooms by quickly.  When you’re 75, I hear it zooms past seemingly in the blink of an eye.  Here’s the rationale–it’s all in regards to ratios.  When you’re 5, a month is 1/60 of your entire existence outside your mother’s womb.  When you’re 35, that month is 1/420 of your life, 55 = 1/660 of you being here, and so on.  As you get older, that month is just a drop in a really big measuring cup, if you’re lucky enough to live a long time.  We’re also busier living our lives, as we get older.  Have you noticed?  There are more and more things that you need to do, want to do, get asked to do, asked to participate in, expected to participate in…  When I read this article (source?????) it all seemed so logical.  Clarity hit.  And that helped me not stress as much about how time flies by.  Suddenly, that flitting time thing is just part of life, something to keep in mind and work around, but not worry about.  I’ve been semi-housebound for over a year, and was beating myself up about how I haven’t “accomplished” much of anything.  Other than reconnecting with my creative side as well as nature, making a stronger home base, finding out who my true friends are, discovering healthier alternatives in our synthetic (fake) world, working on getting healthier and fit, and getting caught up on my sleep.  Well, that’s a lot when you break it down!

I’ve officially begun disability retirement.  That’s what they call it when you can’t teach anymore due to health issue.  So odd, to have only taught for 10 years, but be retired.  For over a year, I was without my income in our two income household.  Thank goodness we had decent savings and retirement accounts to draw from.  It was scary for a while, watching new withdrawals occurring from those accounts for every day living.  We cut back where we were willing, always thinking this was going to miraculously improve and I could go back to work.  It really rearranged my thought process about what we really needed to buy.  I discovered how wasteful I/we had been living, even though I thought we were frugal.  I’m thinking maybe I was supposed to learn that lesson, that my comfort isn’t so dependent upon the newest, best, tastiest.  I’m discovering less costly ways to do stuff–mercy, we frittered away a lot over the years!!  And now that I’m “retired,” we can breathe a bit easier, be a bit less stressed about money, yet utilize the skills of living more simply.

My liaison at the school system retirement program said the supervisor didn’t hesitate signing my request, as I had many doctors confirming my status and my “story” was so sad.  Wow–my story is sad according to a supervisor with authority who’s seen it all.  This actually helped me a lot, because I recognized that the sadness of this saga wasn’t just in my head, like a pity party.  It’s for real.   You know, it’s still hard to wrap my head around the fact that the sophomore girls who intentionally sprayed my classroom to make me have a allergic reactions so they wouldn’t have to do homework (!) or take tests (!) or take finals (!) were never brought to the light, and will always know that they caused a life altering health issue in my life.  Do you think they’ll remember with the glee that I saw other students boast about “breaking” a teacher??  Bet they will.  Maybe not all of them, but most of them.  Here’s something–there’s another plan for me that I don’t know about yet.  Still opening up to find out what that is…

All those moments really do matter as they’re pieces of the whole.  And Happiness IS the Journey, not the Destination, after all.  (One of my mantras that I keep forgetting about, ironically!!  So my framed version is now sitting next to my desk, eye level.)  Remember this as you wonder where your time goes.  And remember to do the important stuff in life, not just the time wasters.

2015-03-05 Happiness is the Journey 001

With warm wishes on your journey,

Nance

 

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The Swooping of a Red Tailed Hawk

Ohmyword. Sitting at my desk, which is next to a floor to ceiling window, I was privy to a red tailed hawk swooshing down from our roof, gliding across my yard and the street, where it swoop-landed on the roof of the house across the way. It took a short flight to go up further onto the peak, where it then spread it’s tail feathers broadly, precisely as I wondered what kind of hawk it was. No question–a gorgeous red tail was flashed for my eyes. Then it turned it’s head and looked back toward me. “Yes,” I mentally communicated. “I saw you, and I thank you for your visit. And you have a beautiful red tail.” ohmygoodness, I still haven’t caught my breath. The primal instinct to be afraid as a large bird of prey plunges in front of you, followed by the exultation of the glory of such a beautiful creature give quite a rush.

red tailed

red tailed face

I’m drawn to red tailed hawks, and have been my whole life. According to the Legends of America site, http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-totems2.html that I use to understand the Native American meanings of wild life sightings, hawks represent a messenger, intuition, victory, healing, nobility, recollection, cleansing, visionary power, and guardianship. Wowza–no wonder I love them so much.

Much of the representation connects. I’m not sure about the messenger part, although it could relate to this blog. I consider myself quite intuitive as I’ll sense something, and then have it confirmed far too often to be coincidental. The victory would be if I’m finally experiencing healing from my hyper sensitivity to synthetic fragrances. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve started NAET treatment, “a non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to alleviate allergies of all types and intensities using a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine,” according to the site at http://www.naet.com . That would also totally relate to cleansing. Nobility, recollection, visionary power? Not sure. Nor with guardianship. There is another connection with that one, though.

Due to this window in the study, my dogs have a wonderful view of the cul de sac we live on. Gracie Jane and Spencer sometimes go ballistic as runners go by, or if people are out walking their dogs. The latest thrill for them is a marmalade cat, whom I’ve named Marmie and have decided is a female. She likes to sit under the shrubs outside the window, paws tucked under her body, just chillin’. Marmie looks very content out there, until they spot her. Then she scowls at the fiercely barking dogs as they try to protect their home from this awful intruder, pulling her feet out from under so she can take off quickly if need be. I’ll usually close the lower blinds so the dogs can’t see her and she can hang out, undisturbed. I like having Marmie around. She’ll dart away if I try to get close to her, and she doesn’t live with any of my immediate neighbors. I’m not thinking she’s feral, as Marmie doesn’t have that skinny, wild-eyed look I think of with feral cats. Here’s the connection I was talking about before. Cats represent guardianship, detachment, sensuality, mystery, magic, and independence, according to Legends of America. hmmm. She was my animal connection the last three days. Now today, I have a hawk. The overlapping representation is guardianship. hmmm. Wonder what the universe is going to show me next??

Isn’t life grand?? All these moments–they matter. Focus on them, be present in the present.

With warm wishes on your journey,
Nance

A Loss Unexpected, Part II

In my previous post, “A Loss Unexpected, Part I,” I shared a growing sense of loss, that I need to figure out what’s been lost, and how to recreate myself to alleviate the losses.  I mentioned I’ve lost the hugely important ability to be easily social, and have lost the bubbly person, the one who always has a smile. She’s gone away and I want to find her again.  But wait–there’s more!

I didn’t sign my contract for next school year–I’m no longer employed.  It’s official.  Not only have a lost employment by choice, but I just lost my chosen profession, at my chosen high school.  This school is a challenging school to teach at because many of the students live lives I cannot even imagine, they don’t have parental support that they desperately need, and many come from severely low-income homes.  My class room provided a safe haven, I gave them unconditional love, and I impacted many young people’s lives in a positive way, creating a ripple effect of goodness and love.  Except for the few who chose to ruin the “nice” teacher.  Over the past ten years of teaching there, I honestly can’t tell you how many kids told me they came to school just so they could see me, visiting between classes if I didn’t teach them that day, coming back after their semester was over… just to see me and feel loved.  Loved just because they are who they are.  Honestly, they were my babies, waking me up at night as I’d worry about them, thinking about ways I could help.  They’d share life issues, learning problems, all sorts of challenges and frustrations with me… I was their school mom.  I’ve lost that feeling of usefulness.  I’m also a burden financially–I don’t have income, but cost money to “operate.”  That’s pretty heavy too.

I’ve also lost the luxury of being known as a hugger–I can’t hug most people anymore because of their clothes detergent, dryer sheets, shampoo, conditioner, hair styling products, deodorant, lotion, self-tanning product, perfume, or cologne.  And I am a hugger.  This is a huge loss in my life, not being able to hug people.  Those students I was talking about that would find me usually needed a hug too.  But now I can’t.  I see former students, as I live in the district I taught in, and we automatically and gleefully head towards each other to share a hug until I remember I can’t.  It’s always a shock.  Still.  Our world is overly perfumed with artificial scents.  Essential oils don’t seem to bother me a bit; it’s the fake ones, created in labs, and there are 1000’s of them, so I can’t be treated for just a few with allergy shots.

Friends and family are actually apprehensive to be around me because they worry if some new product they’re using will cause a reaction.  A dear friend asked if the gum she had in her car was ok, because it was artificially flavored.  That seemed fine–apparently food scents don’t hit me the same way as smell-good scents.  But to realize that people feel uneasy being around me is rather devastating.  I’m a people person, forced to be a semi-hermit. My mother in-law let me know that she bought some unscented shampoo for everyone coming to the family reunion to use.  Bless her heart.  Shampoo is actually low on my list of triggers.  If I’m in the vicinity after a shower was taken with a trigger shampoo, then yes, bad news.  But there are so many things in our world today!!  My vets office is almost too fragrant.  We’ll see how that goes today when I take the two pups for their shots. If it’s bad, they’ve already said they’ll bring the dogs out to me and I can wait in my car.  We had to change my son’s dentist because they wouldn’t stop using plug-in air fresheners.  Here’s something they didn’t apparently believe; if you’ve used it in the past week, and haven’t fully aired out the space, it’s probably still in the air and on the cushions and in the carpet, particles getting sent back into the air as people sit and walk, for me to have reactions with. I’m unable to go into fragrant stores, have to avoid aisles of, and sometimes the aisles next to, the detergents and scented cleaners and air fresheners. Think about this the next time you go into a store.

This challenge is almost unfathomable.  No wonder I’m feeling loss.  And fear and dread and constant apprehension.  Will it get better?

tbc