challenges, change

Stand Back

Hands off.

Stand back.

Let things take their course.

This is hard for many of us when we are watching what could be a slow motion tragedy unfolding. It’s especially hard for helpers (see my enneagram for more). I want to help. I want to fix. I want to make it all better for the people I care about.

I have been a helper for as long as I can remember. Being a helper is alive in my profession. It’s alive in my volunteer positions. It’s key to how I shape my days. So telling me not to help is like telling me to not be myself.

I have grown to understand that I have to fill my own cup first. This was a big step for me. I can’t help others if I am empty myself. But this is different…In the past few years, I’ve heard the cries of friends telling me that sometimes doing for others really isn’t a help. It robs them of the chance to gain their own power, self-esteem, self-worth. Still, I had a hard time stepping away when people asked for my help. Heck, I even offered help when it wasn’t even asked for.

Push finally came to shove in a situation and I had to step back. The bridge to help was too wide to cross, so I somehow let it go. I worked through the guilt. The shame. The pain. And just let others take the reins of their troubles and their successes.

This enabling isn’t always an easy pattern to break, especially in the beginning. There is time and energy to redirect. All the feelings and urges have to be tamped down. It may sound a little self-serving to say it hurts not to help, but it’s true.

It has taken time. What has surprised me is hearing from loved ones that they don’t hate me or disapprove of me standing back. That secret worry has not come to pass, at least not to my face. If there are people out there who are disappointed in me, close up, far away, or even not with us anymore, they have not shared with me.

And after some time and restraint, it has been rewarding to watch people begin to take control of their lives. Is it an immediate success? No. There are bumps and setbacks and disappointments. I can try to be there to support during these times and listen. I can think about what is truly necessary and try to provide some of that. But I really default to staying back and letting the person sort it out themselves. They are strengthening their own muscles whether they like it or not.

I find myself becoming more self-reliant and independent in the wake of these decisions. I also feel a little less me, but I am living with that. I am learning what boundaries work for me and my resources…time, emotion, financial, and more.

challenges, change

Oh My Aches

Well 50 has been glorious thus far. So many aches creep up after the big 5-0. Today, I thought I would jot a few down.

The tennis ache: I have a love hate relationship with this kind of ache. I love tennis. I hate the ache in my forearm from overuse. A year ago the ache seemed insignificant. Could the big 5-0 really cause aches?

The CrossFit ache: this ache comes and goes depending on the programming of movements and/or the frequency of my attendance on a regular basis. The ache however is the same. It’s a graduating ache. You must move to keep the tightness from settling in any one place, especially the buttocks. Nobody likes a tight ass. Consistency helps with this ache but age does enlighten you when evaluating aches.

The knee ache: this one is ever so annoying. I can walk. I can bend. I can ride a bike. However, if I sit in a plane seat or a car seat for any length of time my knee is locked. The unlocking part leaves a lingering pain deep inside. Could this be old age? I have no idea what a bad knee feels like but now that I’m fifty I think about it.

Although there are physical aches, there are also emotional and social aches. The social aches come and go with time conflicts and scheduling for adults. Those who want to spend time together but then schedules and life gets in the way. The emotional aches can swing from one side to the other.

One side of the emotional ache could be with growth. Watching your child or young adult grow or not grow. The other side could be emotional aches resulting from the loss of loved ones near and far. Add that 5-0 menopausal self and you might get a an emotional wreck, front and center.

Environmental aches sneak up on you too. The annoying neighbor. The boss who is a pain. The co-worker who slacks causing you extra work.  The weather might even throw you off or makes your aches worse if it’s cold or rainy. One seems easily shaken or disturbed as into that crotchety self over fifty.

I never used to notice aches and pains as much as I have this year. Menopause. Aging. Life. It all hits at once. Or so it seems to me. My forty-five year old self was so much more indestructible. My forty-seven year old self was so adventurous. My fifty and challenged self is changing daily. Likes. Dislikes. Wants. Don’t wants. Needs. No’s. Do’s. Dont’s. I can’t even name them all because change is on the horizon, daily. I also think snoring magnifies over 50.

As I write today, I think of how much I enjoy the still of my day today. The fall air. The cool breeze. The comfy sweatpants. As day shifts to night, I will enjoy something different. The outdoors. The giggles. The challenges. The competition. I hit the field tonight with my new team. I will enjoy some fall memories with this group that will surely keep me on my toes and easily make me forget my aches of the ages.

For now I focus on moving as much as I can and as often as I can. I try to stretch my mind to try new things to counter balance my aging. I often remember to giggle. I also disregard those around me who attempt to suck the life out of me. This is a necessary step to keep the other aches at bay.

Nobody wants to add heartache or worse on top of the other aches I listed above. Well not me anyway. Time to throw my frisbees to my dogs and breathe fresh air.

challenges, change

Bravery and Courage

She is a brave girl.

She is a smart girl.

She is lost without her male role models.

She lost one to death. 

She lost one to a girl.

She lost one to the military.

Each taken without warning.

Each situation left a scar.

A pandemic hit and a new loneliness surfaced. A quiet and new normal that included loneliness and suffering no one ever could have prepared you for. Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Rules. Masks. It all came at once. Then death hit. Then separation of a new kind. And then the final take away. All strong male figures in her life. Uprooted. Gone. Without notice. Taken from her. She wants to know why!

She shows bravery and courage every day she tackles the world around her. Making strides while battling her own why me? She is a warrior in my eyes. A diamond among us all. We should all be so blessed to know her and her strength.

She has to fight in order to shine bright on her own. Such a young age to learn such life lessons. Taken. Gone. Stolen.

How can I ever fill the void of these three men? In honor of of International Women’s Day I tip my hat to all of the strong females fighting for themselves each and every day. 

change

Change #3,454

It’s early February and I think I just hit change 3,454 for this year. It might not always be change I contributed to. It could be change that impacts me. Maybe even change that hits somebody close to me.

I’ve written about change a few times over the years. One was a thought post about how much I like change back in 2020. Seems so long ago as it was pre-pandemic which is like 5 million changes ago, but who’s counting?

My desire and love of change is ongoing.  Change still holds true today, but I have decided that the changes I like more are full disclosure changes vs hidden changes. For instance if somebody was to be fired in a workplace, I could cope and adjust to said change but I would prefer to know it’s about to happen vs watching it unfold unexpectedly.

If my favorite coffee shop was closing its doors for business I could adapt and go elsewhere but I might want to wish my favorite barista good luck. This means I wouldn’t appreciate the move-out-in-the-middle-of-the-night option. I prefer the sign on the window that says “last day is Saturday.” Now the world isn’t perfect which means I may expect too much of others and how open they may be about sharing the news of change vs fearing the change itself.

Nowadays I have a beef with Starbucks. One location in particular likes to put a hand written not up on the drive through stating closed catch you tomorrow at odd times on random days. This irks me. An unplanned change. Something I didn’t account for nor that I can control. Without notice. Over the last several months my dislike of changes in this fashion irritate me more and more. I cope with change and my irritation subsides however I wonder how many others are bothered in the same way about change. 

My gym changes ownership not once but twice in a short period of time. Out with the old. In with the new. Change everywhere. The paint on the wall. The people in the four walls. A new fresh outlook, cool. Did I suspect change was on the horizon? Absolutely. Will the environment change? Most likely. Will the rules change? Probably. Will the name change? Yes. The list goes on. None of these pieces of change are directed by me but the impact is front and center. For me. For my sweat mates. For many, including the new and old owners. Time is needed for all to adjust. A period of grace for a transition. 

Out with the old or what was new. I’m with the new which was old. So crazy how change goes back and forth and sometimes back again. This is so my life. Front and center. Reaching for growth within the change. At least that’s what I hope change brings for others as it should me.

You see I learn as change surrounds me. From the whispers of those who don’t like change to the trailblazers who force change. For change is really the only constant in life. The days of the week change. The hours or minutes of a day are ever changing. The weather changes. Moods change. 

Funny I talk about change as I wrote about the subject about 13 months ago again. I learned how I like change but my daughter fears change in some instances. As she has spread her wings and sprouted this past year she has been more open to some changes but not all. And funny this week she was insistent on change but she had no power or control to garner the outcome of change she wished to see in her world.

In her athletic journey she hoped for change. She saw the need. She jockeyed for change but fell short. Such a life lesson. You see sometimes we want change but we don’t get the change we want or need. instead we are stuck with changes that others decided for us. Do we sit by and wallow in self pity or do we move ahead and bend, flex or pivot to see the change as an opportunity?

After 3,000 changes I learn to go with the flow. It might not be my change or vision but it was somebody’s. I need to embrace the change however it is thrust upon me. Suddenly or with notice. It’s a practice I’m working on mastering since I stated above I don’t necessarily like surprise changes.

Just another thought post to take out of the vault for others to ponder as they undoubtedly face change in their life. A passing of a loved one brings many changes. A new school or teacher brings change of a different kind. A new city bring a changes of many kinds.

Remember change brings opportunities. You must look beyond the change itself to see how change can truly benefit you.

change

The Alarm Went Off

It was a weird chirp sound. One I wasn’t familiar with. What is it? Where is it? The hunt was on. It was my countdown clock for 1095 days. Tucked in behind a few things on my closet shelf. Waiting for its special day to chirp. 

3 years gone by in a blink or two. Just like that 1095 days is a part of the history book. I blinked. A pandemic. A few birthdays. A cool countdown with a bunch of crud and coolness intertwined in those three years. All categorized in journals, online and in the vault. Many thoughts for future books but also many shifts due to environmental changes over time.

I certainly would not have thought three years ago that today would be what it actually is today. I guess my crystal ball is foggy at best. Worst plans, best plans, who lived, who died, and so on. Change is the the one word that keeps coming to mind when I think of these past 1095 days.

Changes of many kinds. Bend. Flex. Adapt. Reframe. The words that I seem to say over and over these days. Looking forward to the next 1095 days. Maybe I’ll have a comparison post when my alarm rings again. Maybe not. Time will tell but for now I’ll just say change is the only constant in life.

Welcome to 2022.