Archive for the ‘acceptance’ Category

I am compelled to write today, for I must think out loud…
Hard work is a blessing that I miss very deeply. Has it been 7 years since I lost my job? It is as if it has disappeared, and now is only a faint image on the side of a discarded old milk carton. “Missing: Julie’s job. Last seen in Westlake Village, California. January 2010”.
I long for the old days of the gift of being cursed with the early morning demands and slowing down in my car balancing my coffee cup in one hand, putting on lip gloss with my other hand as the yellow light looks down upon me with a condescending glance as it dares to turn red just above my head, out of reach.
Today, I quietly carry the burden of longing to have the mental and physical strength to work once more.  I dare not say this out loud because what I desire immensely, really, is to hear about a friend’s day at work and I do not want my truth to leave them with odd feelings of discomfort. “What are you doing? Tell me everything”, I say, as if they were on vacation in a beautiful countryside villa. “What was on the agenda? What did you wear? Who did you see? Where did you have lunch? What did you talk about with the other tourists?” Oh, to be a part of that rat race once more.
Not too long ago, I foolishly pushed my body beyond it’s limitations day after day while I ran in this undesirable race that I miss so terribly this morning. I miss it so much that my heart aches. Somehow, I managed to work for 11 additional years with this horrific illness until my body and my mind gave out and my job was taken away from me. (Twice. Two jobs.)
Chronic Lyme Disease and the co-infections are a tricky foe. I try to hang on tight to this horrific unfortunate roller coaster ride. Free falling. Exhausting. Frightening… I did manage to actually give an attempt to socialize a couple days ago at my neighborhood annual street party, but now I must continue to pay the price for using all of my precious energy. I did not pace myself well enough. Perhaps I still need that yellow street signal just above my head to tell me, “Caution – slow down Jules!”…
Today I have made the decision to accept that I am unable to count traffic lights as they turn from yellow to red on my way to work, instead, I choose to count the blessings that I can see from my bedroom window. 3 beautiful quail, a couple humming birds, another bird being outsmarted as it chases a crazy old moth zig-zagging about, white puffy clouds – and the changing shadows on the ground from the morning sunshine… Soon I will step outside just so I can say I got outside today. I know the familiar fragrance of my own back yard will fill my spirit with gratitude.
Perhaps I will call my son just to thank him (once more) for everything he does for me. No fun for my boy to have had a sick mama for half of his life. I find him to be the most compassionate, caring, funny young man that I know. In fact, if he wasn’t my son, I’d want him to be my friend, you know, I mean, if I met him at work, or something. My son and I both have gotten good at counting our own special brand of blessings and knowing just how lucky we truly are…

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My friend shared with me that his beloved 12 year old pup suddenly passed away. This has been on my mind…

As a result, I am mindful of when I was 4 years old & living with my family in Michigan with my Doberman, Hans. I have vivid remarkable memories of Hans. He was a true Doberman Pinscher, as the breed is known for being, “Always Faithful”. He was a big boy – I remember the age I was standing eye to eye with him & then I grew to be a little taller. My father was a brilliant dog trainer & the original animal lover. And my big brother & I loved playing with Hans in our back yard in the winter snow & the summer grass. Quite often, as I dashed out our back door, my dad would hand me a small paper bag full of trash to toss out in the big metal can in our yard. Each time, Hans would hide behind the trash can & as I approached, suddenly Hans would leap out & he’d jump & hop around me with glee! I laughed till my sides hurt! I fell for this again & again as he continued to lovingly play his own brand of hide ‘n’ seek behind the big trash can. I never got my dad to admit if he taught Hans how to hide & tease me in this way. But what I do know is that when our family suddenly moved into a small apartment the summer of 1962, before I started kindergarten in California, sadly we did not bring Hans with us. I am unable to remember where my beloved play mate’s new home would be that day – but I do know Hans took a piece of my heart with him. I wonder if it is possible to fill that special void of the loss of a fine dog. Perhaps it is due to that lost love that we must freely give to every dog we see in our new life with out our faithful friend at our feet. I do know, that with out the great companionship of Hans, the unexpected fun & laughter, the feeling of being protected – I would never have experienced that great level of unconditional love & compassion – as my heart grew to realize I’d never see Hans again, I experienced a painful sense of loss at much too young of an age. Hans was one of my greatest teachers. Perhaps my first teacher. My memories of Hans are my strongest childhood memories of Michigan when I was only 3 & 4 years old.

My entire life since the summer I turned 5, when ever I see a Doberman, my joy filled heart gravitates towards him & I hear myself softly say,”Haaans! I remember you. Thank you for teaching me about unconditional love. I will love you forever, right back!” For I too, am “Always Faithful”.

Budge in uniform 1955

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I continue to whisper out loud, I am doing the best I can, of course I will be ok and this too shall pass – I know this to be true. However, with that being said, I just had to share my truth for today with you, my universe outside my window.
I do not sleep well, however, last night I slept from 11pm straight through to 11am this morning, until the pains in my body woke me up like an angry old-fashioned alarm clock. Every ounce of my body felt like I had gotten bounced around in a bad car accident, or perhaps I stumbled and fell down a flight of stairs like a lifeless rag doll. This is nothing new and the description of the physical pain isn’t necessarily needed to make my point here… It’s the description of the emotional let down that haunted me since my tear filled eyes opened this morning. As if some kind of a grief for my own body landed heavily on my emotions during my sleep last night. It has not lifted from me for a moment today. A ball and chain wrapped around my emotions along with a king python showing no mercy. An emotional death grip.
Yes, yes, of course I count my blessings. Yes, my faith is strong. Yes, I have everything I need. But all around, every tiny crevice of today, was rough. Every movement of my body. Every thought that passed through my brain. Every beat of my heart. Every blink of my eye. Every moment I kept my focus in front of me. Tying the bow on each shoe lace. The hair touching the back of my neck. The lost voice of encouragement. Today. Today was an enormous insurmountable death defying effort as I gently wrapped my hand around the handle of my great-grandfather’s cane. Please, let’s keep our balance.
My list of things to-do will wait for me. Unanswered Emails will stand by in their inbox. Messages from doctor’s offices on my voicemail will wait. My cat, and my father’s cat, will still nap on the foot of my bed in their perfect harmony. The lizards and Quail will still stop to look in at us through the sliding glass door. The laundry will still patiently wait to be washed. My car will still be there when I feel up to driving it. And the sun will surely rise again tomorrow.
Nonetheless, somehow, without my permission, life is passing by too quickly for me. Like learning how to play double-dutch jump rope for the very first time, I am unable to skillfully jump in and join my friends. And my friends, bless their hearts, they continue to play outside without me – and I get that – it happens. But today I opened my eyes and something had shifted like Andrea’s Fault deep below my surface. Today I do not have the energy to be “happy for them“. Today I had a realization of the soul that I have officially missed the last flight to freedom as I struggle to withstand the force of the exhaust that successfully pushed me to the ground on the filthy burning hot runway in the desert.  
I have a grueling fantasy that maybe, just maybe, they are missing out on what I still possibly may have to offer. They are missing out on the beauty of my humble back yard. They are missing out on the nature that unfolds before my eyes as fall begins to get closer to winter in the desert.
As I continue to remain at rest in my bed, I look out my large south facing window and see the silhouettes of the trees darken on Tucson, as this particular day of important painful spiritual growth comes to an end. I’ve come to know that, “slow is the new fast”. Why not? It could happen. So, I’ve personally granted the body to take all the time it needs to get as well as it can. And that will be enough for me. And in this moment, as I witness the white stars begin to appear outside my window to the universe, I become acutely aware of what a blessing the life is that breathes in and out of my body. I am blessed – and for that – I am enough.

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