Some things can’t be
… Like beauty,
or the graceful turquoise geometry
and gossamer irridescent wings
of a dragonfly,
emissary of the spirits
sent to remind us
that magic lives within
and amongst us
at every moment.
Former Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins. Buzz Aldrin on WhoSay
You haven’t heard from me for a couple of weeks for a simple, ineluctable reason. It is simply this: despite all the intricate plans my mind was making, my body decided to shut down for a week or so. Chills. 103-degree fever. Chills again. More fever. Extreme lethargy. Extreme fatigue. Headaches. Dizziness on rising. Loss of appetite. When the fourth day of fever began, I called the doctor. I went in and was diagnosed with “walking” pneumonia. I barely coughed at all, but there it was. An x-ray had revealed an infection on my lung. Antibiotics were prescribed. I gobbled them down for a week, drinking insane amounts of water. After many hours of Netflix movies and soreness on both hips from being in bed all day, I gingerly ventured out for a little longer each day, until I finally started to feel, well, “normal.”
I’m really glad I was sick. I wasn’t glad while it was happening to me, but I think illness is a time when your delirious mind has a chance to reorganize itself, put everything into perspective, and make you focus on the essentials in your life. I ate very little, but when I did get my appetite back, it was only for small quantities of healthy foods. The very thought of junk food was repulsive. I lost 10 pounds.
I also cut out the futile luxuries of perfectionism and anxiety, in which my mind had been indulging when it had more energy. All the focus was on resting, being kind to myself, and feeling better. Everything else was on indefinite hold.
The opportunities are always out there, but how many of us reach out to them? I’m talking about things you’ve always dreamed of doing. It’s different for everyone, but for me the list includes a few things that I’ve been wanting to do since childhood. Here are my top four:
1. Scuba diving (ever since I saw my first Jacques Cousteau program).
2. Fying an airplane. I did get an opportunity to do that as a late teen, in a Cessna with dual controls. My cousin was getting her A&P license at the time, and her instructor took me up. It was great. I’d still like to get a pilot’s license and fly wherever I want to.
3. Owning a yacht and sailing around the world. (I’d really better get started on this one)
4. Publishing a book (or several).
I think the main thing that has been holding me back is my inability to see these things as not only possible, but as real. There is a sense that these dreams are extravagant, self-indulgent, and superfluous. The idea that life should be about doing “serious” things and “making money.” Also, I (as I assume is true for many others) look around for approval/permission from others. That is a big mistake. I’m not sure why I haven’t done these things yet, but, as the second half of my life begins, I figure I’d better get off the observation deck and into the water. Literally.
Yesterday I saw a movie on Netflix called “Maidentrip” about a 14-year-old girl from the Netherlands named Laura Dekker who literally sailed around the world by herself, in a 40-foot ketch named Guppy. It was inspiring, to say the least. Once she decided to undertake the voyage, Dutch child welfare services tried to stop her, and she had to go through harrowing legal battles before getting clearance. She finally won and achieved her ambition, documenting the voyage on video.
I’ve signed up for a scuba diving certification class! It starts in about three weeks. I’m excited about it, and also a little apprehensive. I’m not apprehensive about the diving part, or being underwater, or any of that. I’m concerned about passing the prerequisite, which includes swimming 3/4 of the length of the pool underwater on one breath. I can swim the whole length underwater with fins on. But I’m pretty sure it will be fins off for the test. The other two qualifying tests are to surface swim 5 lengths of the pool (piece of cake) and tread water for 10 minutes (could do it in my sleep). But why is it so hard to swim underwater? I have been practicing. So far, all I can do is a little over half a length. The harder I try, the harder it is. Today, I talked with some fellow swimmers, who gave me pointers. Look down, not up. Keep your body horizontal. Stay relaxed. Find the “zone” in which you continuously glide forward with minimal effort from your limbs. It’s tricky, because you have to stay rigid enough to keep the forward momentum, but relaxed enough to conserve energy and oxygen. One of my fellow swimmers even demonstrated for me. He made it look effortless.
Finally, they suggested I look on YouTube for instructional videos on free diving. I’m about to check into those. I know that most of getting past this is psychological, and that persistence will eventually pay off. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Wish me luck!!
An artist is someone who:
Sees it all right away,
sees it in a different way,
pisses people off
doesn’t really care if people understand her or not
trusts her judgment
knows she is right
worries about what people think
wants to be liked
knows she will never be understood (in this life)
Must have chocolate every day
is obsessed with beauty
will hunt truth to the death
wants to live… really live
is interested in what other people think (and especially IF they think)
MUST see others’ art
loves the greats
needs to share
needs sunshine and plants
ponders stuff she doesn’t think is great—but not for too long
needs to be loved
can’t stand routine
is painfully sensitive
forgets what time it is
does it for love
obsesses over an idea
is anxious about the future of the world
is anxious about…
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May she rest in vindicated peace.
This is good advice for everyone, whether you’re looking for a job or not!
We have been meeting a lot of people who are looking for work lately. Many have sought help from career and life coaches, joined career development organizations, and started success teams in order to stay focused and on track in their search for employment. Finding a good job in this economy is no easy business, and results can take several months, or sometimes a year or more.
It is important to stay the course in your job search. It is easy to get demoralized or even depressed, but there are steps that every unemployed or underemployed person really needs to take to remain sane, hopeful, and happy. Being in a good state, both mentally and physically, is really important right now, because we project what we experience in the world. In order to project good experiences, we need to take care of ourselves and remain optimistic. Even if the prospect…
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