Posted @ QUOTEZ.COThis has resonated a great deal with me, lately. There have been a lot of changes going on in my life, personally and professionally. It also feels like I’m always juggling at least four and sometimes five or six different things that all need my attention, my energy, and my time, and it’s difficult. Often I feel like I’m failing at one or another.

Some are for my day job.

Some are for my husband and children.

Some are for my extended family or my friends.

TryResized_1And some are for my writing career…which is part of what comprises the things in my life that are “for me”, even though it doesn’t always feel like it’s something anyone in his/her right (write?) mind would undertake.

And there are times I think about just letting some things go (usually the “for me” things) and trying to settle into a life that is somehow more ordinary and therefore less stressful.

Except I’m not certain that’s even possible. We are who we are for a reason.

What drives us will do so and still be there, gnawing beneath the surface, whether we feed it with action and time or not.

life-is-trying-things-to-see-if-they-work-quote-of-this-day-political-quotes-about-life-936x621So the only thing we can do, I suppose, is to keep trying. Even when it’s frustrating. Even when my energy is drained.

Because it is part of who I am, and if it truly is, then I can no more easily cut out effort or energy toward it than I can cut off my own limb.

If my life hangs in the balance, then yes. If not, then I guess the only choice is to keep trying!

Thoughts Have Energy

think-positiveI stumbled on this poster the other day, and it triggered something in me. A little, niggling voice in the back of my head that reminded me of how I’ve been wrestling with this concept in the past three years, especially since my father’s passing. But I suppressed the voice as I tend to do and moved on.

I went in search of the poster, intending to write down the words and make a “Wordle” of it for my students. When I located it, I admit to being more than a little startled to find that it had been originally posted on the very day my father died.

Here’s why that was startling for me:

It’s kind of funny, but for many members of my family (and I’m talking not just my husband and kids, but also my six sisters and their families, and my mother), the death of our father (“Pa”) seemed to be the demarcation point of a series of unfortunate circumstances (family illnesses, some severe and long-lasting, some involving our children or grandchildren, shocks, stresses, and accidents) that seemed to have kind of piled on as time passed.

Of course Pa’s death doesn’t actually have any connection to any of the other events or challenges. People lose parents – especially an older parent – all the time. But it was kind of noticeable that in conversation it would come up, “You know, since Pa died…” followed by the various incidences or at the very least, a sense of displacement. A sense of things being shifted out of balance that is very subtle but still has impact over time.

That Pa was really the emotional and physical center of our family and a strong, much-loved, vital presence for my mother, all seven of us daughters and our own families made his death very difficult, of course, but he had been ill for the six months prior to his death, and so we were also relieved for him when his suffering ended.

Still, it was a struggle to pull out of the sense of shock of losing him in our family. I tried to turn as much of my thoughts and energies as I could to the positive, even through the challenges that seemed to arise out of nowhere (I was even able to finally finish Moose Tracks on the Road to Heaven, after having struggled with writing it for two and a half years prior, thanks to some of the lessons and experiences I had during his illness and death. Ultimately, a full five years after beginning, I wrote “The End” this past May).

Anyway, as the issues cropped up one by one, they tested my emotional mettle, but I soldiered on.

I’ve been mostly successful with it. As a child, I couldn’t bear the least amount of change (I even begged my parents to save the old linoleum they ripped up after they refinished the kitchen floor when I was five), but I’ve become an adult who is becoming comfortable with the realization that control is an illusion; I know and accept that the best I can do is choose how I will react to the circumstances I face, positive or negative. Pa tried to teach me that all my life. I learned the lesson slowly while he was alive (probably because he was always there as the emotional “safety net” for all of us) – then in big, heaping leaps once he died.

My life has settled down and been very good again in many respects. But I wonder, sometimes, if I still spend too much of my energy “watering the weeds”. I keep working and slaving over what I “have” to, all the time, and letting myself get bogged down in responsibilities and feeling trapped by them.

Thoughts are energy.

I tell my own children this all the time. And the whole convoluted story in this posting is just to say that, seeing this poster has made me realize that maybe I need to do a better job of remembering that statement myself.

I’ve been getting better at it, but I have a ways to go and some polishing to do in terms of the thought patterns I allow myself…and that allow positive or negative into my life here and now.

And those are my philosophical thoughts for the day (maybe even the week).

Happy Wednesday! May it be a positive one for you.