The horse's pasture to the East...

Monday, January 29, 2018

BRIGHT SHINY THINGS or how I let an addictive behavior go.

This weekend I received a request to remove the link to my BLOG from various social media platforms. I did. And this morning I put the links back up. Evidently the previous post about addiction to devices struck a sour note with some people. 

I thought about it, cried and got angry. (Crying is how I express anger) I also decided that this is in the 'hot button' category. It's well worth writing more about. In my opinion devices and our ever growing need to be linked to an internet is disturbing. 

My husband and I went out to eat this weekend, our payday treat to ourselves, at a local restaurant. We don't eat out much. I love to cook and being a bit introverted, we both enjoy our time by ourselves. But I also love the theater in the round that a restaurant is. People come in, mingle while they wait for their tables and, when they are seated, always start out with 'company manners'. About ten minutes in to being there they begin to relax. It's like the opening scene in a play. 

Lovers hold hands, families get their children set up, meals are ordered, older folks talk, professors debate, singles watch and sometimes interact with people next to them. It goes on and on and it's never dull. There's nothing more fascinating than the human animal in a social setting. Even better the lighting is usually good and you can hear the hub bub coming from the kitchens too. I love the clatter of dishes and wait staff rushing around. It's a kind of unplanned and complicated dance. 

We were sitting at a little out of the way table for two, enjoying the beginning act. We could see folks outside waiting to be called, talking and moving around. And the never ending stories inside were even more fun. A young couple with two children, a little girl with mismatched clothes that she had probably picked out herself and a little boy with that crackling energy some kids have were wiggling around while coats were removed and special kid sized chairs were set up. Mom was carrying one of those huge bags full of stuff all parents carry with them when they go out and Dad was busy snagging his kids as they began going around the table in circles. I love watching families!

And then Mom reaches down in to her bag, pulls out two iPads and gives one to each of the children. She gets her phone out and so does Dad. The light, that unseen energy that is there between people who love each other, went out at that table. They completely disconnected from each other. Ordering was perfunctory and NOT ONE WORD passed between any of them. They all sat there with that mechanical light that comes off of a device, reflected up on to their faces. 

I watched and waited. They ate without looking at each other. Occasionally Mom would pick up something off the floor or wipe a chin off, but no one looked at each other. No stories. No laughter. Nothing. Leaving was just as perfunctory. The kids were crabby when the iPads were taken away, coats were put on and they left. I was so disturbed I could hardly eat. It was awful and sad. 

We came home and I was given the request to take my link down to my post. How interesting. I had just watched a family sit at a table and disconnect from each other because of devices. It was like a cloud had settled over their table. It was lost time, lost opportunities to tell tale tales, laugh, solve problems, teach, debate and build memories. In my mind the point to my previous post had been proven. How VERY interesting.

I thought I would tell you what I'm doing to disconnect, to control the urge to constantly check in. The research is there and, ironically, easily accessible on the various search engines, supporting the facts. Cell phones, pads, computers and the internet is addictive. It's set up to be that way on purpose because it's the ultimate way to sell stuff as well as control large numbers of people. This isn't conspiracy stuff. It's all based on the idea of ADS and SELLING PRODUCTS. It's made to be bright and shiny, fun to watch and listen too. It is purposefully designed to activate parts of the brain, to provide rewards using brain chemistry to keep us checking in and buying, participating and focused on yet more bright shiny, sparkling things. We are being programed by fewer than three hundred engineers and programmers located in silicon businesses. They have, through the endless number of apps out there, the undivided attention of more than a billion people. And that number is growing!

On my previous post I added the interview with one of those former employees of one of the big companies. He gave me some good ideas to try. They're working too. 1. I changed the colors on my iPhone. I set it for grey scale, no color at all. It makes the screen dull to look at, takes all of the visual interest out of it.   2. I turned off the sounds except for the phone ringing. No more pinging and booping or clever funny sounds to get my constant attention.   3. I put my phone in a holster and leave it there. When I'm at home, I put it on the counter in the bathroom and leave it there.  4. I found an app titled FOREST. It cost me $1.99. I set the time to completely leave the phone alone and it grows a tree for me. In real time, when I reach the goal time, it sends a signal to the company and they plant a real tree! I am literally panting a forest while I make sure I do not pick up the phone. For me, inveterate tree hugging former hippy chick, that is just exactly the kind of reward I need. I can even set the time, on a little dial, to longer and longer periods. I started at sixty minutes twice a day and I'm now up to ninety minutes twice a day. The idea is that you can wean yourself off the need to use the phone all the time. It's a definite two thumbs up for me! 5. Today I am going to take off unnecessary links on my phone or put them in to boxes so I have to work harder to get to them. 

Am I addicted? Probably. My excuse was loneliness. That one isn't going to work anymore. I'm focusing on my word for this year, TRUST, and I'm going to put a little faith in to the real world and use the virtual world as the mechanical device that it is. It's a tool that isn't going away soon so I am going to control my contact with it the same way I chose to control the gack that comes from TV and radio. I am the master and not the other way around. I am accessing it on a need to use basis and disconnecting in a profound way the rest of the time. 

More quiet, less virtual noise. And I do treasure my quiet time.

One more PS. I will never follow anyone's request to take down anything I write again. If you don't like what I have to say, go away. Go play with your bright shiny things and leave my voice alone.

I am, Nancy, smiling and out the door in to reality!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

MAKING A CHANGE, well except for chocolate...

I am making some changes. I've been accused, by someone I care for a great deal, of being addicted to my phone and devices. That hurts. I've spent the majority of my life, 78.7% of my life on this Earth to be exact, without access to a smart phone, iPad, or even a computer. 

I began using my computer and a dial up service to learn more about subjects I was passionate about ; fine art, design, writing, dogs, horses and donkeys. I've used the internet this past year to learn how to generate an additional income stream so I can keep my horses to the end of our circles together. It's a commitment I made to them when they came home. I found Lucky and Apache by making contacts via the Internet. 

I've used the internet to access a learning system and to find instructors for a system of training to use with my horses. We live in an area where there are no close in trainers. I've met people from all over the world with the same love for horses through the use of my phone and computer. And my phone has become a mobile system for security since I work here more often by myself. If something happens I need it to be able to make a call for help.

I don't like being accused of being an addict to anything except being alive. There are addictive behaviors in my family to drugs and alcohol. I even have three convicted felons in my family who were caught, tried and jailed for making and selling drugs. 

I have lost three friends to addictions that killed them and several others to suicide by the use of drugs. I have, purposefully, spent my life having nothing to do with alcohol, drugs or other addictive behaviors for that reason. I will not follow that path.

But a seed of doubt has been sewn in the worst possible way, in an extremely toxic way. Someone I care for a great deal cussed at me and accused me of just that, of being addicted to devices. Truth is I do carry my phone in a holster at all times. I spend the majority of my life alone, working outside with my dogs, horses and donkey. I hike out to paint and sketch. I did that without a phone and was injured. Thankfully I was not at home by myself that day. What I took away from that was BE CAREFUL. TAKE CARE OF MYSELF. USE A PHONE AS SECURITY.

That makes sense to me. I will still carry my phone in the holster but I will not answer it nor will I use it except during an hour every day to answer text messages, catch up with social media or read the news. I will write here and participate in an online coaching class with an instructor.

The irony in all of this is that I've had fun, documenting my life here with my animals. I've used my cameras to make fun of my antiquated, so very twentieth century way of approaching a world that seems to be run more via an ether developed by some extremely creative people, that is virtual rather than real. It's funny! It really is. I've kept an online journal via this blog and other social media that I have truly enjoyed. I have friends, albeit people I may never meet in person, from every continent in the world except Antarctica. 

I love having pen pals. I've done that since I was a girl way, waaaaayyy, back in the ice ages when children went outside to play all day and no one checked on them. If my chores were done I was free. I wondered around completely by myself in the woods, swimming in a small lake close to our home, riding my bike on country roads or going for hikes. I'd spend hours sitting on a rock or log drawing pictures, making up stories or just watching clouds or the wind move leaves. 

My grandmother used to say to me, " Go outside. Find something to do. " and that was that. I did. I went and never thought a thing about it. I tried to give the same freedom to my children too. As hard as it was to let them go out in to the world without me checking up on them, I began that process when they were little and let it be. Instead we gave them the skills to take care of themselves and let them GET BORED. It was up to them to figure out how to fill their days, once their chores were done. My theory was that getting bored gave them the opportunity to think creatively. We went for long periods in their lives without a television. There was no computer at home until they were finishing high school. And it is still the same here, now.

It worked too. Both of my sons are excellent writers, creative problem solvers who live independent lives. They set goals and reach for them, travel all over the world and live with passion and compassion. 

We do not have cable and we have limited access to the internet EXCEPT through our phones. I'm cutting that off too except for specific purposes. The only way to make a change is to MAKE A CHANGE. If indeed I am addicted, I guess I will find out. 

I will probably write here more because I am going to miss the people I interact with. There's a lot of really nice folks in the world. Every single one of them, the good, bad, ugly or beautiful have been an important part of my story. 

I'll come back later and interact more when I'm certain there are no addictive behaviors. 

Here is a link to an article I read this morning with basic information on how to change your behaviors when it comes to devices.

I hope I set that up right. I can't help wondering how I could be accused of addictive behaviors when I have so many challenges using technology. How interesting!

I am off to do chores and wonder the hills, alone with my dogs and horses.

I am, ever yours, Nancy, pondering

Monday, January 22, 2018

LUNA MOTHS or How I found my way back, beginning steps...

Interesting image to choose for the beginning of a post in the middle of January, isn't it? The giant green Luna Moth has always been important to me though. It looks like some magic fairy companion, sitting and waiting for her riding partner to come along. I found this one last Summer, in September. She's a bit worn and tired but still beautiful. I even brought the cats inside so she would have a chance the next evening to fly on to whatever her destination was without being harassed. I spent the day checking in on her to make sure she was OK. She was gone the next morning. 

I was glad she had moved on. I went to sleep that night with the vision in my head of her tiny, fairy companion coming carefully up out of the woods to take her on to the 'Other Place', where the air was clear and clean, the waters all blue and deep and the animals and insects talked to each other. It's the World where trees live to be thousands of years old and, when they die, they never really die. Instead they fall slowly to the Earth and there's a celebration. New families of insects and birds move in to the old and gnarled branches, taking up residence within the trunk and beginning a whole new world of tree sprouts and Luna Moths, fairies and birds, frogs and a thousand insects who live off the fungus growing from the trunk. And the tree they all begin their lives in exists as a ghost, ready to dispense wisdom and help when ever she is needed. 

CHECK. Imagination still intact. Next ...

We're moving in to the second week for my online coaching with my horses. My coach is doing a great job of pushing me to move and guiding me towards setting goals. 

I used to be good at that, setting goals. I let myself get knocked off course a few years ago though. And I started hiding out instead. I was facing the possibility of failing again, or what felt like a failure. It's all inside my head. I don't have to stop or let my original ideas lapse. But I fell in to a set of patterns that supported the IDEA of failure. It was easier to moan and groan than it was to keep trying. I got lost. My bad or rather my decision. I wasn't bad. I simply lost my way. It's the process of asking for help, allowing myself to be rusty and then trying again that needed to be worked on first, inside of me. And then, second, getting that information out to my toes and fingers. And, third, to let my guard down and just be me in all of my messy finiteness (pun intended). 

A rather blurry me, more years ago than it's easy for me to believe. There's my Brownie camera. I always had it with me. And I had, somehow, talked my Mom and Nana into wearing blue jeans! That was huge that year. Up until then it had been all delicate handmade dresses with perfect fit and lace ankle socks with patent leather shoes. I had a different inner vision, IDEA, of who I was. And they, eventually, relented and chose to focus the need to control on other things. It was big for me though. I still remember that giddy feeling of being able to dress just exactly the way I wanted to. I still wear, almost exclusively, jeans and T-Shirts with a camera around my neck.

It's the IDEA part that's intriguing here. I had a dream of who I was, an inner vision. And that's where I went too. That is, for me, proof positive of the power of the inner voice, the words we tell ourselves. They wanted me to be a ballerina. I did that too but more because it pleased them. I was also kind of clumsy and goofy and lost in that inner world where I made up my own story. 

This week has been one of agonizing (well, OK, not quite agonizing . I just like the way that sounds. ) reappraisal for me. There's nothing wrong with being an artist who lives for that inner story, but there has to be the part connected to the world too. That's the 'me' that takes care of ten animals and helps to pay the bills. There has to be a goal and that's what I am supposed to be focused on ; goals. There's the short term goals for the week ie. working with my horses, especially Lucky, with a game plan in hand. And then the mid term goals of finishing an assessment so I know where I am, where the holes are and what I need to learn or do a better job at. Horses are perfect. They already know. Then there's the next level out goal of being able to ride when the weather permits, of taking a little jaunt with Lucky and, maybe, Stony. Then there's the end game. I want to complete my circle with them, fulfill my promise. I want to be there all the way, giving them a home to live in that is safe. In a jumbled up world like ours that's a huge IDEA of a goal to hold to. 

For me finishing a circle has become my spiritual focus. I see it in the word commitment. I'm taking the first shaky steps back on to that circle and relearning how to believe the way I used to. I'm working on that inner voice, the one that keeps the horizon ahead in sight. I'm still nervous, afraid of failure. But I'm also more awake than I've been for a couple of years too. 

Tonight is the next online seminar with the focus on fitness. I'm guessing that has to do with both mental and emotional fitness as well as physical fitness. And I have set up a vision board and a marker board in the barn, to help keep me going ahead. I've left up our broken clock in the barn, to remind me to be aware of the fact that horses are non linear creatures with the goal of safety, comfort and survival in mind. Anything else we create between us is a lovely icing on the cake. It's lucky (pun intended) that I love icing!

In the words of Elizabeth Taylor in 'NATIONAL VELVET', " Horses!"

I haven't met any that I didn't like. The world is a better place with them in it. 

I am, ever yours, Nancy, busy visualizing and trying not to stumble too much, smiling.

Friday, January 19, 2018


  1. 1
    the length of time that a person has lived or a thing has existed.

    "he died from a heart attack at the age of 51"

    synonyms:number of years, length of life; 
  2. 2
    a distinct period of history.

    "an age of technological growth"

    "the Elizabethan age"
  1. 1
    grow old or older, especially visibly and obviously so.

    "you haven't aged a lot"

    You have no idea how hard I've worked at avoiding this subject. I've gotten all kinds of odd projects done this morning while I tried to stay away from what I want to write today. 

    I've never thought much about age, at least up until a few years ago. I was focused on other things, like school, marriage, traveling, my change of status to parent, money and all of the other things that come up while you race to keep up with your life. 

    We didn't do much about birthdays. The birthday person always gets to pick the meal and kind of cake they want and they can also choose to have a party. Sometimes our sons wanted parties, sometimes they didn't. Neither John or I did. It was another day, a way to mark the passing of time. I always made the cakes and special meals, even my own. But I love to cook so that was no big deal. And I loved some of the wacky ideas my children came up with too. 

    30? No big deal. I was young, strong, busy. 40? Again no big deal. I was young, strong, busy. 50? Same, same. I was in my prime. I had some big time failures in my life by 50 but who doesn't? I kept getting back up and leaping. 60? I was doing just fine until ...

    Friends starting dying because of age related issues or even suicide. Some died of drug overdoses. Seeing my adult children dropped down to once every year or two. We had Christmas together for the first time this past year in more than ten years. Look at that number ... TEN YEARS. 

    I had an accident involving my horses. I've come off before. All riders have. But I always got back up, brushed myself off and said, " Whoa partner. What just happened there? " And we would figure it out. Sometimes it was wind on a cold day and sometimes it was something under the saddle or girth that was irritating (My bad. It's up to me to check equipment, make sure my horse is neat and tidy, relaxed and connected.) But this one involved broken bones, metal plates to put things back together and a lot of physical therapy. 

    And then friends started teasing me about wrinkles, black balloons, sagging and blah, blah, blah. Nothing too unusual there except this time I believed them. My skin really was wrinkled. Things that I never thought would sag, did. Heck, I even had wrinkles on my knee caps. Who knew knee caps would wrinkle? Weight was harder to control. Keeping myself in condition was more of a challenge. Holy smokes! They must be right. I'm old!

    And I came to a slamming screaming halt on just about everything. I began to isolate myself. I stopped trying. Couldn't seem to focus. I wasn't sleeping well. I was crabby, unhappy, angry. In short, I believed the crap we're all fed by any media we come in to contact with. Everyone was younger than me and I was dismissed and overlooked because I didn't have any special achievements. I was in the 'back burner' time of my life so why bother?!

    And then a young friend died, and another and another. I cried a lot. My animals were dying too; cats and dogs. And while I grieved, something shifted this past year. It was like hitting a stone wall while riding. WHAM! I sat there stunned and my perspective blurred then shifted and clarified. I was here, breathing, alive and I was wasting time. If there is anything anyone would change at the end of their lives, it's the need to have just a little more time to be with people they love, go on adventures or even read the sequel to that really good series you were only part way through. I had to find a way to change some bad habits I'd developed while I was hiding out. I was done spinning my wheels and going no where. And I also needed help. The bog was deep and sucking my boots off. I was completely mired down. 

     I made a list of priorities. Where was I lacking? Turned out it was just about everything. So I rearranged the list, 1. to a number bigger than I want to admit to here. I needed a coach. On the top of my list was a genuine fear that I wouldn't be able to keep my horses or complete my commitment to them. Commitment is an important word for me, the core of who I am. If I give you my word, I keep it. If I have to change my mind I do it honestly and as quickly as I can. But I don't lie, I always apologize and try to make up for my short comings. And when I commit to a person or animal I always keep it. I've seen what happens when animals and people are abandoned by the ones they love and trust. It's devastating. 

    I took a deep breath, paid for the service and found a coach. It's a four week stint. I wanted it to be a good, steady push to get my engine going again. I'm hoping that getting back on track with my horses will lead to focus in my art and writing, and reconnecting with the world. 

    I'm in my first week. It's been harder than I thought it would be. There's some inner conflict I'm having to rake up from the muck and deal with. It isn't my skill levels keeping me in place. It's a deep seated lack of confidence, an unwanted weed I let grow in my gardens. I used to identify myself as a good student, an excited and willing student. Seems I put her in the corner and left her there to wilt. I'm going to have to transplant that part of myself and start out in a better 'location'. For the first time in my life I'm more frightened of the process of learning than I am excited by it. That's new for me. 

    Everyone else is ready, waiting for me. I'm in an "approach and retreat" process with myself while I step up to the gate, feel those butterfly wings fluttering around in there and step back again. Forward, backward, rest, repeat. It's OK. I watched a TED Talk on body language and how it impacts your inner version of how you see yourself. Super-Woman stance, head up, shoulders back, deep breaths, smile. Keep your sense of humor Nancy. Smile again. Practice the body language again. Now try one more time. the only one grading me is me. Breath in to it. Yin, Yang. Balance. Stretch. Be brave. Ask for help. Believe. Set goals up close and further away too. Try. Set your prickly pride to the side. You're doing fine girlfriend. Now. Try. One. More. Time. 

    Hate to leave you hanging, but that's where I am. I've been doing my homework but I'm also blanking out on it too. So I'll go back and do it one thing at a time. Breath Nancy, breath...

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


We're in that gun metal grey time of the year. It's cloudy more often than not and the wind blows ala Kansas. If I were a writer of music I could draw a melody from the sound it makes as it goes around the corners of this 'former barn to house' that we live in. Each month it's in a different key and rhythm too. In January it's tone is lower, throaty with a moaning chorus behind it. It's the dead of Winter here and, even on warmish days, it's cold because of the never ending wind.

This year I decided to change it up. I'm going back to being a paying student. I'm always a student. If my life had taken a different route I think I would have been an academic of some kind. I love to learn. This year I'm paying for help which means no bowing out, no finding reasons to procrastinate. I need help over some of the humps in my life. I've allowed myself to fall in to a set of bad habits. As a result I'm wandering around in aimless circles, whistling to myself in the fog. Time to restart my mojo.

I had a friend who, years ago, told me that I exhausted her with all of the changes I put myself through. How could I keep taking new paths when the old ones worked just fine? Wasn't it hard, redefining myself? I was like an out of control caterpillar who, just when it was time to shuck off a cocoon and become a butterfly for a few days and then die in a blaze of glory, I changed my stripes, size and colors and started chewing on something new. 

She was right. It was exhausting, frightening, heart slamming scary. I kept leaping and falling, and ever so often making the next ledge, barely. If there are scars from emotional and mental "burns and injuries", I am pretty dog gone crusty and ugly by now. Hitting walls and bruising myself with my efforts was my modus operandi. And I loved it too. I kept running straight at the cliff and throwing myself, full monty, off the edge with a comanche yell. 

And then friends started to die from age related illnesses and even suicide. And someone else convinced me I was old. I made the mistake of listening. Maybe it was grief. Loosing people you've been friends with, laughed and cried with and complained about the things you can't control with, was sobering. How could I keep running straight at those cliffs and ledges with such abandon and loving it when they were suffering? 

What was I thinking of? I'm a grandmother now. Isn't there some 'Grandma form' I'm supposed to follow? And I did too. For some reason I believed them and then myself because it really is my own voice that slowed me down. I've never let anyone else keep my feet away from those chance taking ledges before. I was the one who stopped trying.

Maybe it was breaking some bones in a preventable accident. I knew exactly what I did wrong after the fact, knew it was me who set it up to happen. But bones heal and, in a weird kind of way, I sort of like my cyborg status. It gave me street cred. I now have little metal plates that helped my bones to heal straight and strong. It was all so sci fi of me. And I did it without drugs too, except for ibuprofen at bed time to allow me to sleep. (There are addictive tendencies in my family. I'm not interested in discovering them in myself.) My doctor was very clear. "Nancy, no horses for at least four weeks." Yeah, right. The day before I was scheduled for surgery I was outside with my rake cleaning and feeding. And two days after I went out and did everything for six weeks with one arm. Actually it was an interesting challenge. And it was fascinating to watch the horses react to my odd posture with an arm stuck in the air. 

But if that was what slowed me down, it was just an excuse. It was my much delayed middle aged crisis (I always was a late bloomer.) at the ripe old age of sixty something mutter, mutter, mutter. That's old, right? It's getting in to the big numbers, the sliding down the hill faster and faster numbers. I'm in the more time behind me than in front of me category. I BETTER BE CAREFUL! So I pretty much came to a snail's crawl. It's not in my nature to stop completely but I wasn't exactly leaping anymore either. Instead I started loosing sleep, stopped exercising with intension, started whining about things I couldn't control and very effectively trapped myself in to a rabbit's warren of tight little paths and several ways out. I got dull. And panicked. And I cried a lot too. 

I wasn't excited about anything. I started little projects and piled stuff up in my studio, putting off the process of making a mess. I began to dwell on politics, the lack of money (because taking enormous chances, for me, means a lack of funds. My choice. I grew up with money and my childhood was miserable. It was not the source of happiness.) and loneliness. I had become what I did not want to be. I was stalled.

Funny how horse related terminology comes back in to play. I was stalled. I was closed up in a too small inner room with very little space to maneuver in. And, like any creature who is meant to be outside, under the sun with space to run in and friends to play and work with, I set myself up to begin to wither. (More horse terminology). I was failing. I was making myself sick and unhappy, moving in to crazy making depression. I was genuinely afraid and it wasn't the exhilarating breath catching leaping kind of fear either. There was nothing positive about it. I was behind self made bars looking at the world from a self imposed dark space in the name of so-called safety. 

I love that image. It's out of focus but there's also a sun glare off the lens that makes me think of cheesy guys with a sparkle in their smile. And my problems seem to be out of focus too so, somehow, it works within the story line. Time to focus, to leap, to fill some of the promises I made to myself and my herd. I'm dull. They're bored and we all need a change, a goal. So I paid for help, rejoined the Parelli organization (I'd left it because I was frustrated with the tech changes. Learning about the internet is not so much fun as necessary if I want to keep up with a lightning fast world.) and here I go.

I don't have permission to use the instructor's name but I did choose someone who lives fairly close in to me, comparatively. And I followed this instructor's free live feed videos to FB too. We're doing a four week course. I'm focused, primarily, on getting my goals set back up with my horses so I can move ahead again. But I'm also hoping it will help me to get myself moving with my ideas to write, paint, illustrate and leap off cliffs. 

Oh boy. Here we go. I'm back in school and ready to sit up front, waving my arm around. " Me! Me, me, me!" And I'll do my best not to be a class cut up either. I promise, no fish swallowing on a dare. (Someday I'll tell you about that story too. I only got away with it because I was an honors student. )

YIKES! Trust, Nancy. Remember? TRUST.

I am, ever yours, Miss Nancy, balanced on the edge and looking in to the hairy, scary space in front of me, gulping and smiling ... sort of. Time to let go of that fog!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

MY ONE WORD FOR 2018 : TRUST (or how I seriously considered binging on junk food while looking this "beastie" in the eye)

Since 2001 I've chosen a word to live my year by, instead of resolutions. At first it was probably because I was being lazy. I thought one word would be much easier to chose and stick to. In that weird way that the Universe likes to teach me, usually with a wicked sense of humor, I found out it was much harder to follow one word for a year. It's a Zen thing. One word takes me months to decide on. I write lists on scraps of paper, in notebooks and sketch books. Later, after the new year has begun, I'll find pieces of paper with words I'd forgotten about but thought they were important at the time. I salt my environment with words.

Maybe it was just me, making it difficult. I like a challenge. Or, perhaps, it's the pared down idea of one word in a world full of videos, on line news, libraries and Kindle downloads and the endless procession of movies that makes it harder to focus on and think about All of the endless data being thrown at us in two minute increments can be overwhelming. 

I'm like Phoebe, my "elder" cat. She prefers the quiet of a good sun bath in front of the glass doors to going outside and defending territory from passing feral cats. She likes to sit in perfect Zen fashion, contemplating the quiet and her own heart beat. 

We have no TV, rarely listen to radio except for music. I read, paint, draw, write, garden and take care of my four legged crew, large and small. I worry about bills and try not to dwell on the loneliness of being so far from my sons. Ever so often I go through a minor freak out about the truth of aging. (It really isn't for sissies.) And I focus on goals, breaking them down in to smaller pieces to make them more attainable. One of those goals is living by my chosen word for the year. And this year I chose a doozy. This is going to be interesting, working my way through this one. I have HUGE issues around this word, that started back in a broken childhood.

My word this year is .... drum roll please! TRUST. Five letters, one of them a repeat. TRUST. I've really done it this time. That word scares the bejesus out of me! TRUST. I've learned to be pretty gun shy with people over the years. Like most of us I've been lied to, led on, manipulated, hurt by and stomped on by people I loved. It happens. We're all basically flawed creatures. I've probably hurt people who love me too. TRUST. That's going to be like carrying a box of explosives through a mine field with a flaming torch to see by. TRUST. My legs are shaky just thinking about it. 

I am going to have to leave myself open and completely vulnerable to practice this word. TRUST. I will have to TRUST that the Universe, the Force, God or however you label that unknown, bigger and way more profound than us power will take care of my path. TRUST is about love, faith, and allowing pain to happen. TRUST is the center of everything I am going to try to accomplish this year. I will have to TRUST that however things come out they were meant to be in my path for a reason. TRUST. Makes me want to binge on chocolate just looking at it on the page. 

TRUST. “All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” 
― J.M. BarriePeter Pan

TRUST. Man oh man. I've done it now! Here I come 2018. TRUST. 

I am, ever yours, Nancy, smiling at the way I do this to myself. TRUST. (I think I can. I think I can. I think I can...)