My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, December 18, 2010

turning straw into gold

One of my blog readers is my adopted mom/guru and she always gives me honest, sage advice. Her Christmas card came in the mail yesterday... I opened it this morning and there was a little treat *YAY* and an advice column with a little passage underlined. It said, "when you don't have something you want, it's your job, and no one else's, either to get it or spin your straw into gold".

Here I sit... on top of this haystack... with a spinning wheel... all ready to go. The only thing lacking is vision. As in... I've lost the creative ability to see how to change my circumstances. I've settled. I've gotten lazy and... well, stuck.

Last night... I laid down on my beautiful bed with brand new REALLY soft sheets... new pillows, shams, new duvet cover... and I laid down on top of it. I know that sounds weird... but with Darby... I was under so much pressure to keep things perfect at all times (or to give the appearance of perfection) that when he was out of town, I slept on top of the covers so that I didn't have to make the bed until he came home. I was afraid to even use my own bed. And since I've been single... guess what crazy habit I've continued? You guessed it... sleeping on top of the covers. The rest of my house might be in absolute shambles but the bed was always made... because it was never unmade. I laid there for about an hour and then thought... I'm wasting those fabulous sheets... so I slipped under the covers and... slept better than I have in a week. I even slept until 7am!

After the disappointment of the missed love connection with Red Flag Guy ... and the abandonment without explanation by Next Guy... my inclination was to put away the lipstick and take another break from dating. But... I don't want to be stuck like that. Will I wait another two years... grow older... lonelier... more set in my ways... will I miss out on LIFE for another two years because of some minor disappointments? No. I refuse. I've got a date tomorrow with a guy I'll call "the Bear Hunter" (details on that later, I'll let you know how it goes)... and am talking to another guy, who, like me, sleeps with the tv on. (this may not make him my perfect match but if you've got a non-tv sleeper attached to a tv sleeper, it can make for a lot of sleepless nights). I'm back in the game. Not giving up.

I may have mentioned a slight fluctuation in my weight over the course of this illness... at one point I was 8 pounds heavier... and really, really freaked out about it. In the past... my tendency would have been to eat everything in sight because... I mean, if I'm not going to be able to lose because of illness and meds and all those things outside of my control... why bother? Well. I bothered. I stayed the course, kept counting points, stayed on plan, did what I could. And this morning... even though I knew I was going to register a gain... I went to weigh in. Consistency. Accountability. The next two Saturdays I won't be able to weigh in (Christmas and New Year) so I wanted to set a benchmark and goal... to know that I've slipped a bit (through no fault of my own) but I don't have to give up. I was up .8 pounds from my last weigh in... a total of 2.5 pounds from my lowest weight. And it's ok. My leader said, "It's going to melt away once you're well... keep doing the right thing".

I can't make myself instantly be well but I can do healthy things... eat healthy... take the meds I have to take and avoid the unnecessary meds. I stayed off the codeine all day yesterday and ... yeah... it was painful... but it's such a drain on my energy. I knew that the only way I was going to feel better would be to shake the meds. (don't worry... I'm still taking the antibiotic although I hate it) I am not about to run a marathon but I am trying to move more and reconnect with the outside world.

The thing that drew me to Next Guy ... more than anything... was the fact that he made me feel like a treasure. He made me feel beautiful, wanted, needed, desireable, attractive... and although I'll be the first to admit that there were probably more differences and reasons for us NOT to be together than what I had with Red Flag Guy... I (foolishly) thought that as long as I felt like a treasure, I could overlook anything. (Anyone noticing how God/fate/karma protects me from myself?)

All this begs the question... why do I need some random guy to make me feel like a treasure? All around me... every day... people in my life make me feel treasured. Trust me... you can't have three people slaving away cleaning your home while you sleep... and not feel special. And... the comments, emails, cards, etc that I get every single day from people from all over... I'm treasured. Appreciated. Needed. Wanted.

Empty nesting has been hard. I feel so far removed from the only life I ever knew as an adult... mommy... that I felt unwanted. Un-needed (I know it's not a word). If my kids don't need me anymore, what else is there for me to do? And because I had built my own self-esteem with a dependence on approval from the opposite sex... not having a man in my life made me doubt my worth. BUT... I have so much value as an aunt, friend, sister, cousin, blogger... there is still so much that I can contribute to the world, even if it's a different contribution than what I had envisioned.

The more I've complained about my loneliness at this time of year... the more invitations have rolled in... people who DO want to spend time with me... who do appreciate my company... who DON'T see me as an obligation but a treasure. I've had this perception of myself as a burden, that I failed to see the value that others see in me. The truth is... the haystack I was sitting on was already a pile of gold... I just failed to see it.

Maybe I'm a work in progress... I think everyone is... when we stop growing, we die. Over the past week I've felt impotent and unimportant. It took a few special elves... and a message from afar... to remind me that I'm not straw... I'm gold. And although there is so much more in life for me still... this stage is not wasted time... it's valuable. I'm valuable.

Time to eat some breakfast... take some meds... do a little (very little) shopping and enjoy the warmer (42 degrees) weather we have. Love and hugs to you... all my treasures...


Anonymous said...

DO you have a 'bucket list'? Seriously, this may be trite and silly, but it will get you going in a direction.

If you're stuck, then you need to get moving. Get out.

What do you want to see that you haven't?

The point almost is not to see and do the things themselves, but to get you on the journey.

Aaron Gotlieb gave me sage advice about Disneyworld and surrounding parks. He said "Don't go for the big stuff, if there is something big that has no line, go see it, but your time will be better spent following the little stuff. You'll see more and it will be really fun."

The world is the same. Let's say, Randomly, you end up in Winnipeg. Yeah, there are big museums and the provincial government and all that, however, it will be meeting the people and seeing the small stuff which will make you curious and think "How the heck does THAT work?" and then you're off.

Nests are good. They're safe, but it's a big world out there and if you're feeling stuck, you don't have to be. Gravity's natural function is to pull you down & away from the nest. Let it a little.

Becky said...

Ohhhhh, Heather, it makes me so happy that you're sleeping under the covers again. That's probably a really good signal to your subconscious sleeping self that everything is safe and peaceful now. Plus it's such a lovely comfort to snuggle into soft sheets under a comforter, especially this chilly time of year.

About guys. I hope this doesn't make me sound bitter and cynical, because I'm not, and I really like men-- but I've had a couple of experiences that have led me to be a bit suspicious of guys that make me feel like a treasure before they even know me too well. I was so hungry for the good feelings, as of course we all are, but I think in retrospect I'd be much more comfortable with the slow "let's just give it a little time and see how we jive" approach.

I hope you'll get to feeling better the next few days and can enjoy the holiday at least a bit.