My Happy Clock and Me

2016-03-27 22.09.18

So, the clock caught my eye in the thrift store–the colors of blues and sparkly glass reflecting the light. As I described to my curious and puzzled daughter, “I’ll see those colors in the morning and feel good.” It’ll be my happy clock. It’s a creation of glass pieces, fused into a tile. There’s delicate white flowers that mark the quarter hours. All it needed was a battery and I hoped that it would work and keep time well. It should–it’s brand new. It still had a sticker on the front, ‘Made in Italy. Venezia. Murano.’

I found the right battery and set the clock in its new happy place on my night stand. And then I realized that I had forgotten something in all of this. While I was caught up with the light, sparkly colors and admiring my happy clock, I forgot that real clocks tick. They tick and tock. Over and over–all night long! I’m so used to digital and electronic timekeepers–they’re quiet!

I laughed. My happy clock is giving me more than I expected; an everpresent audible reminder that time passes (so long as I am within earshot). Luckily, I already wear earplugs to bed most times to block out other, not-so-happy-clock-sounds. We’ll see how this works out; me and my ‘ticking’ clock. I really want to give it a chance before I hastily do a batterectomy. Then it would only look pretty but not be functional and that’s a waste, isn’t it? For some reason this clock found me and I will give it a fair chance.

The Flip Side: And the Other Side

When it gets bad, it seems really bad. When my mood turns dark, I lose hope of change. I just want to be alone and I push everyone else away. It seems like this will not lift because the ‘wanting to’ is not coming through. Why don’t I want to continue? Because life seems like an endless circle of behavior patterns-cycles of good, bad, good bad, and the dark times obscure any reason to ‘weather them out’. I’d rather give up but I can’t seem to escape this planet and I can’t seem to escape the patterns. Yes, I push people away and I know I’m doing it. It’s for their own good, right? My reasoning fails me during these times. I judge-they don’t live up to my expectations; my ideas of how things should be. I’m not fit for relationships. Why did I pick this partner? Why the hell did he pick me? Why can’t I be an effective influence on my kids-I’m a poor Mother. Why don’t I want to know others, be intimate? I am not good enough for the people who-for some crazy reason-continue to love me. Why can’t I just love them back, no matter what? Doesn’t this mean that something is drastically wrong? Doesn’t this mean that I should just be alone? Why am I not grateful for my situation just the way it is? All of it seems unbearable and hopeless. This is madness, the world is insane. I get so tired of this, yet I can’t sustain the happiness, the ‘good’ times and I just hope something magical will happen to lift me out of this funk.

But guess what? I have to do it myself. I have to-as soon as I see an opportunity-set about making things right. I have to get involved in life, nature or relationships somehow and just be present or just find a way to make a connection. Most recently, while in one one of these funky times (and not completely out yet) I decided to keep commitments to visit family because it’s Easter weekend. Mostly everyone else did the talking and visiting and I was as polite as possible and listening. And I was sad that I didn’t feel like my usual self. I saw an opportunity though, when home again last night. I hosted an Easter egg hunt early, since the 4 of us will be going separate ways to visit different families today. This helped me start to pull out of the dark time. I was doing more for others than (thinking about) myself-and my ‘situation’.

I am told that the dark times can serve a purpose if I can ‘feel’ what’s going on yet remember that:

  • It will shift!
  • People still love me
  • I am valued and appreciated
  • I can choose to come out of this by ‘getting to work’

There is not a magic cure. I need to feel things deeply; spend time alone and in contemplation. I have to choose to put myself forward. The universe means me no harm. Life is benevolent.

Showers with a chance of Grace

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I hope that wherever I happen to live in future, I will have access to the place in my home that I absolutely adore–the shower! I love water. I love quiet alone time. For me, showering is an awesome start to the day, a magic mood changer, or a tingling, sensational way to warm my cells and vibrate with renewed aliveness. If I have to live somewhere without a shower then perhaps adequate substitutes could be sitting in a sauna or steam room, dunking in a pool and lying in the warming sun afterwards, or soaking in a quiet morning bath.

The shower has been important to me since being the age that I was finally allowed to shower instead of bath (and manage my own self-care), through challenging new motherhood (when showering was brief-and required utilising a carseat and exersaucer for the wee ones) until now when I can take some personal time and let the outside world hush for a while. It’s like stepping into a full-body-mind cleanse. Here, I can rejuvenate, relax, contemplate, or watch a disturbing mood go down the drain. (Picture the statue of ‘The Thinker’) I often get more in touch with reality, find new perspective or become ready for a fresh start.

For a sensational kickoff to my day and to transition from the grumpy, sore, sleepy Crystal to the focused, vitalized, alive Crystal–I shower! For a while, I have my own pulsing accupressure treatment. I just love feeling the cool morning breeze through an open bathroom window while watching the hot steam swirl and float like tendrils of smoky freedom. What contrast! I see the sun rise and sparkle through water drops on the transparent curtain. Each drop is alive, is a powerful little bead of clean water with potential to clarify and nourish. I feel gratitude. A new day; what shall I do with it? This gives me hope, I get new ideas, I feel loved more deeply than a human kind of love; I feel supported and ready to make decisions and be in service to life. I feel a peaceful warmth glowing through me. Indulge!

Get out! Get curious.

Agelaius_phoeniceus_0110_taxoDo you ever have the urge to get away from the house for just a little while but don’t know what to do? Are you tired of seeing walls? Do you get the feeling of wanting to see something new or be in natural surroundings? I regularly take time away by going for a drive or walking in a park. I like to explore the many natural areas that are not far from the city–and I don’t even need a 4×4! Seeking new experiences helps me get out of my head and be curious about life around me. My body starts to breathe easier when I see the morning sunshine or smell rain on trees.

My husband and I took time for a Sunday drive to get ‘out’ and get ‘into’ relationship–with each other and with life. I picked a direction, got fuel and snacks and started driving. I thought to myself, ‘I don’t know where I’m going, but I’ll know it when I get there.’ So I drove, looking out for ‘there’.

I took a turn down an unfamiliar road–something new! Wow, lots of hills and curves–yes! I want this experience. Kept driving until, ‘there’–a good place to stop for a while. I stopped on the side of a road amid grass fields, overlooking a tiny lake. Aaah, quiet. It was just any road; just any tiny lake, fields, trees and fences–and my curiousity was ignited. What is that snow-topped mountain far in the distance? What will these trees look like in the summer? Where does this road go?

I watched out the windows and laughed–we were surrounded by crows and red-winged blackbirds. Delight! Groups of birds took flight together and landed while others danced in a muddy driveway. Some were picking seeds with their pointy beaks. Action was all around. They were putting on a show for us just by going about their ordinary business. I felt enveloped in life. What a treat. How extraordinary!

It felt like time to drive again and see what was around the next corner. I was eager to witness more ordinary gifts. I was glad to share those simple moments with my loved one. I felt content to make my way home again–refreshed, excited and curious.