mental health, perspective

The Web

Can you see the web hidden in the dew and the sunlight? If you can’t it’s okay. I will tell you about it.

The web is masterfully crafted. Many layers. Anchored skillfully. It was a beautiful web. There were spiders to the eye. There were no prey woven in. It was a midnight masterpiece I’m sure. One that a skillful spider crafted while I slept. 

When I awoke it caught my eye in sun. It was hard to get a picture but the dew and the sun made it stunning to admire. Not many can say they found a web stunning but on this day I did.

It’s craftsmanship had me interested. Much like life we live with many tangled layers similar to a web. Carefully crafted relationships. Overlapping work and pleasure lines. Family connections. Friend circles. All interwoven to fit what we call life.

I was drawn to this web today. A simple part of nature. Many won’t see. Many will take for granted or even wipe it a way in an instant. But the beauty of it all is a spider will get back up and craft a different web. Maybe one that can withstand more than just a simple wipe away.

This was a firmly build web. Anchored. Robust. How does your life web compare? Is it flimsy? Can it be wiped away easily? Are you memorable like this web was for me? Can you say your feet are planted firmly in life?

Life is so full of many ups and downs. Sometimes you have to pick yourself off the ground and start fresh to build a better life web. The beauty is we are all capable of doing this. 

Get after your day today. Look at your web. If it’s tangled, worn or flimsy look at options to refresh your web of life. If it’s robust and built sturdy look around and see if you can share your gift of life stability with others. Somebody nearby may need help with their web.

Enjoy your day.

challenges, nature

Stowaway

It had been a rough day.  The kind of day where you’re shuffling online files, trimming, uploading, then re-editing, reuploading in different places, and so on. I spent the afternoon chasing my tail, making no progress.

Finally, I walked away from a project that I had spent hours trying to figure out.  I was just too frustrated to finish.  It could wait until morning.

I gathered my things and loaded my shoulders with all my bags and other stuff, ready for the relief of an afternoon bike ride, then looked down. 

W.  T.   F.

I looked closer.  

?!?!?!

A scaly knot on my floor.  Curled up.  I touched it with my boot and sure enough it slithered.

Again, W T ACTUAL F. 

SQUEAL. 

Mind starts pinballing. Heart racing.  How do I get it out of here?  

Custodians are gone for the day.  Don’t have access to a broom and dustpan.  I can’t just leave it here.  IT’S. IN. MY. OFFICE.

I find a bowl and set it on top of the slithering striped shoelace.  Then I walk calmly down to see if a couple of my “country”-type colleagues are still here.  Nope, already headed home.
So, it’s just me.  And the scaly shoelace IN MY OFFICE.

I had to pace to gather my courage.  I finally picked up the bowl and there it was, my little sworn enemy.  And just like that I 

STOMPED

STOMPED

STOMPED

And screamed DIE.

DIE.

DIE.

Stop.  Was it dead?  (Poke).

NO.

STOMPSTOMPSTOMPSTOMPSTOMPSTOMP.

DIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIE.

And finally, I stopped, looked, and it was still.

Scooped it up with a file folder and dumped it in the woods. I was hyperventilating-ugly-crying-nose-running awful. So hard to calm down.

Then the what ifs? crept in.  I was in my office with a snake for who knows how long.  What if I had been bitten?  Or someone else?  Too much to think about.  Just be grateful it wasn’t worse.

You might be surprised to read that I like snakes.  Well “like” might be too strong…I’ll just say as I’ve gotten older I understand their role.  I know many of them are good and I just work around them when I see them on the farm.  It’s me living in their habitat not the other way around.  

Maybe that’s why it was so upsetting to find one IN. MY. OFFICE.

It can’t just slither under the rocks and disappear.  It was a showdown. She or me. 

Yes, I killed it and it made me sort of sad on top of the other huge knot of emotions.  I was a little less sad when I found out it was poisonous, but again relieved it had not been worse. 
I wondered, how did it get here?  Was it born here?  Are there more around the corner?  Or is a farm varmint trying to stowaway for a quick vacation? More under the car seat? I’m still on the lookout.

Thank goodness I chose boots over Birkenstocks that day.    

Just another animal adventure to add to the growing list. 

nature

Seasons or Reasons

I have never really been a seasons girl. Meaning I didn’t really have a favorite season. I enjoyed summer as it meant lake days. I liked fall for sweatshirts. I liked the beauty of the snow but not a fan of the cold. Spring I like to see new flowers bloom but again none were really a favorite season.

This year, however, I seemed to look forward to fall more than usual. The pumpkin spices. The changing of colors in the trees. The warm jammies. The sweatshirts and of course the seat warmer. I even turned on my space heater for one day already. 

I’m looking forward to fall adventures. Extra blankets for covers. Snuggles with my dog on chilly mornings. Chilling runs outside. And maybe even seeing my breath in the air. The clean crisp air. The fresh air.

Do you think I’m most looking forward to these things because I’ve spent so many months cooped up? Behind a mask. Limited on activities. Confined in many ways?

For whatever the reason I’m dreaming of this fall season. My reason to seize the season. The ability grab the crisp air like a crisp fall apple. Crunch. Snack. Slurp in the flavor of the season.

Some apple cider. Some apple snacks. Some apple-flavored cocktails. Bring on fall and all its festivities. My season. My reason. My appreciation of fall in 2020.

What’s your favorite season? Your reason for the season?

perspective

It Just Happened

Just like that. I looked up and the calendar is showing September first is right around the corner. What in the heck!

Have I been in a coma? Did I get amnesia? Did I get hit by a Mack truck? No, I sure didn’t. I’ve been living in what seems like a a time warp of sorts. The corona blah.

I see some sense of normalcy on the horizon. School is back in session. A digital start moving on to in-person tomorrow. What a whirl wind for my new high schooler.

One way hallways, masks required, one way stairwells, limited social activities, no fun bus rides, just a bunch of rules, rules and more rules. In her world it’s still better than being stuck at home on a computer for hours. For me it’s a break from the insanity of the last 6 months.

Work adjustments, life adjustments, school adjustments. Just another day of change management. Grind, grind, grind.

September is here. Fall is in the air. Sweaters, sweatpants and blankets ahh how I love me some fall fun. Looking forward to hikes, toasted marshmallows, pumpkin seeds and maybe if I’m lucky a trip for a quick getaway if travel restrictions are lifted. Starbucks coffee in the famous red cup is a must as well. Caramel brûlée I hear you calling my name.

Here’s to hoping this fall is a giant leap forward into normalcy. May the leaves falling be a symbol of corona being a topic of the past vs. the present. May sports this fall be memorable for my child as she begins her high school career. May there be school dances and football games. May there be activities to look forward to that involve people and socializing.

Bring on September, October and November. Let these three months be ones for the record book. I want to look up and say “wow, I’ve had the best three months” instead of “wow, did I just wake up from a coma the last six months?!”

Fabulous fall here we come!

nature

Bloom Where I’m Planted

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A sea of green. Grasses of several kinds, grown knee-high and blowing in the breeze.

It’s a peaceful, idyllic scene, this acre upon acre of green.

Until…

orange!  Orange of all things.  A orange blob right in the middle of all this verdant, lovely green.  An interruption.  An annoyance. Like a lightning bolt to my eyeballs.  Piercing and wild.  Why?  Why here?

I waded through the grasses to get a closer look.  I found that this bright, almost glowing orange was actually a tightly clustered bunch of petals.  A gutsy, piercing, look-at-me! blossom.  A beauty, standing out boldly in her own way.  I studied it for a while, wondering about its roots.

Later that day, walking through the acres, I saw another orange splotch, hundreds of yards away from the one I first noticed.   How did they get there?  Are they family, I wondered?  Long lost sisters, maybe?  Or even just spreading their wings?

“It’s just a weed,” a friend said.

But it’s pretty, I thought.  What makes something a weed, anyway?

(Being me, I looked it up, of course.)

I now know that a weed can be anything that grows where it’s not planted on purpose.  That turns up where it’s not wanted.  Where it’s not supposed to be.  Even someone’s prize roses can be a weed if they come up in a pumpkin patch.

It’s all about context. Beauty can be anywhere.  I noticed and admired these orange ladies more so because they were dramatically different than all the deep green surrounding them.

From these brazen orange beauties I learned to just bloom wherever I happen to be.  Make the most of where I am, even if it’s not the perfectly sunny spot.  I don’t need approval to show my true colors.  To be myself, grow and blossom, wherever I plant my own feet. 

Have the courage to be different.  To stand out.  Will everyone appreciate it?  Not the meticulous gardeners. Who like it all in control.  But to other eyes, I might just be the antidote to the ordinary that they need.  The splash of color in a sea of monotony.   The lightning out of the blue, or green.  The inspiration to spread their wings.