Friday, November 23, 2012

Light Bulb moment.

 WARNING: Photos unrelated to text.  Just sayin.

The other day, while I was talking to Cupcake, (I lust for that name, btw) .....I realized something big.

A recent comment from a friend got me thinking about it......she said, "that headache has kind of DEFINED you for some time."
Ya think.
But seriously, that's the truth.  As it persisted, month after month, and sometimes became so severe that I could not function in my normal way, then yes, it did begin to be the guide that I structured my collapsing life around.  And it did take every single waking thought. Trying to diagnose it, trying to manage it, trying to find some relief, understand what was happening to me.
 For all of 10 months, I struggled to find some ground where I could relate, where I could find a transition to this new definition of myself,  from the old definition of who I have been all my life............yup, a workaholic.
Are ya' with me?

Then the knife.  Six hours, two surgeons, and who knows how many sharp instruments, and now I am finding that I am defined by neither of those things.

My headache is becoming  (hallelujah) manageable.   I have a bag of tricks, that actually work to diminish my headache to, medicine, massage, refraining from doing things that cause spasm, meditation.
And whether the doctors rearranged my brain, or this is just a natural conclusion to my whole experience, I find that being a workaholic just doesn't inspire much interest in me  anymore.

Stop the train. OMG.  I can't even believe I said that, much less FEEL it.
But it's true.
I am finding joy in putting balance into my days, and sometimes I feel like I have returned from a foreign place, and I am learning to live all over again.

When I was growing up, Dear Dad taught me what was important.
And if anything that you did as work, did not result in money, then it was stupid.
End of lesson.

Now why I did not take to heart  the lesson that my mother was living, instead,  I have no idea.
She slept until 9am.  After her household chores, which were not too heavy with just she and my father and I there, she was free to amuse herself.  And she did.  She was an accomplished gardener, and she loved to sew.  She did both, and she did them well.   Other than bowling on Tuesday mornings, which she did faithfully, she stayed in her own little corner of the world, and did just exactly what she wanted.  She made dinner, nothing gourmet.........she was not into it, and then on to her other addiction........TV.  She has watched a million movies and some of them multiple times.
She was never concerned about money.  My father made it, and gave it to her.
She was never concerned about work.  When she came to this country in 1946, and her new husband said he did not want her to work, she settled into that dogma like a trooper.
She had several new Toyotas back when NO ONE ELSE WE KNEW had new cars.
My father fetched her fresh popcorn from the movie theater every she could munch while glued to the television til midnight.  Not so late, when you sleep until 9.
THEN, he bought her a full size theater style popcorn machine, so she could make her own.
But she didn't.  He made it.  Big surprise.

But I did get my inclination to create from her, and for that I'm grateful. Dad had nothing to do with my addiction and passion for  fiber arts.

But what now,   now that I have discovered Dad was wrong about the money thing?  Oh, I've known it in theory for a long, long time.  But I still worked like a crazy person every day of my life.
So NOW, I have to rethink, re-plan, redo. It's not enough to just know in my head that every day is a gift, and that all of it is precious, I have to  ACT on it, accept it, and discard all that nonsense that I have dragged around, that money making,  task oriented, compulsive, driven behavior, that I've been doing since I could walk.

I am practicing just that, every day.
This is a warp I wound today, for dish towels.  Just because I wanted to.

 It is all new, this amusing yourself bit.
But I'm pretty sure I can get it.


Susan said...

I love your new philosophy and would like to know...where do I sign up? Not so much have I been money oriented, but I am definitely into working hard to please others. For family and friends, that's not necessarily bad, but when I do it so companies can make a lot of money off my products, then it is. I'm hitching my wagon to your "train of thought!" XOXO

Country Gal said...

It takes time to sit back and relax and just take each day as it comes when you are so used to being on the go all the time . I have been retired for 3 years now due to health and it has taken me the entire 3 years to realize that . I still feel as though everything should be done by a certain time but it doesn't . I have found that taking my time at doing things helps me enjoy it all that much more and I am actually able to walk away from it if I feel like it ! As for money it is what it is and as long as your happy and healthy what does it matter. Have a great day !

Mary said...

Amen soul sista!

Deb said...

I think all the dads back then had the same idea. They worked hard for the almighty dollar and if I recall, my dad had no hobbies and never volunteered his time for anything. It had to pay. So, your mom is how old? I am getting from this that popcorn is a health food and we all should be eating a lot more of it. "Hi ya." Hugs, Deb

Rita said...

Maybe this inner shift will help you to understand your mother more?
It is enough to just be. That was a hard concept for me to wrap my head around when I became disabled. But there is much freedom and joy in just being...even in pain. ;)

DJan said...

Such an interesting post, thinking about how you became who you were until now. You can change your philosophy any darn time you want to; your mother taught you how, it seems. I love her from your description.

You are an inspiration to many, me included, Hilary. Keep on keepin' on! :-)

ain't for city gals said...

I think you are getting a lot of this thinking from reading Echart Tolle..he changed my life. Our ego is a pesky thing indeed..

moosecraft said...

Life is full of learning. And everything that you have experienced in your life has transformed you into who you are right at this moment.

MrsB said...

I was thinking when I read this that you must be the first born - the overly responsible child. Right??

Then it dawned on me that maybe you were sole money earner in family for a while...right?

All good reasons to work like a demon and earn money - so at a time determined by YOU - you can RELAX and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

I found it hard after working like a demon for 35 years to relax when I retired - it took about 18 months - now I do as I please after feeding cats and emptying litter box is done. That is the only chore that is absolutely necessary every single day.

It gets easier. Really.

Country Girl said...

I am so glad you are getting it. Sometimes, coming here, I would feel a little daunted by the amount of work you did and wonder if there was something wrong with me because I liked to sit outside and take pictures of birds. So Hilary, I am glad you are getting it. You don't have to work your ass off.

Anonymous said...

Oh Hilary, what a wonderful post! I can't say how happy I am for the big shift that is taking place within you . . . because it equates to peace and contentment for you. It certainly came at a price, but I think these kinds of shifts often do. It takes something big, and I'm sorry to say, painful. Loved the story about your past! Love the new freedom you are finding. I laugh because what you do in your new non-workaholic life is still more than I do most days. I'm not sick, I don't have a headache, I've just never had a lot of energy. So I've learned that a reflective life can be rich.


Donna S. said...

Hmmm, sure you learned that from your Dad & didn't just want to do the opposite of what your Mom did? A friend of mine posted on FB to her deceased mother on mother's day....thank you for teaching me what not to do as a mother . Not related to your mom but that actually related to me. Because of my childhood I became totally driven to be the opposite.

Brian Miller said...

smiles....i like your turn to is easy at times to fall into that work trap..i was taught the same growing up....and find the pace i run now to be much more enjoyable a life...smiles. love all the color you wound out, just because...smiles.

Daryl said...


Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts