The Gatherer

For years, I have operated under the delusion that my husband is the pack rat of this pairing.  Apparently, my capacity for denial is extremely well developed.  This past week, we have made 6 trips to donate “stuff”.  We’ve only begun to de-clutter.  I am the source of the acquisition of most of this “stuff.”  I am an amazing gatherer.

All this stuff has been making me a bit crazy.  The clutter tugs at my mind with confusion.  What to focus on?  What is important?   What to keep?  What to give away?  These are important questions that have often been lost in the”stuff” that floats around me like a Sargasso Sea.  I am the center of this stagnant spot.  With admission, comes a wee bit of shame, but mostly relief.  When I begin to see clearly, I will make better choices.  Delusion:  it’s time for you to go.

While I am an amazing gatherer and I’ve learned how to gather on a dime and make a profit on this flotsam, it’s not helping me any more.  It became an insulation against the world.  Building a fortress of others’ cast offs has been a simple way of protecting myself.  This stuff insulated me from feelings of loss, disparity, injustice, rejection, poverty.  It’s time to look this stuff in the eye and see it for what it is.  It’s looking back at me and helping me see that feelings of loss, disparity, injustice. . . are not ends in themselves, they are steps along the path.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  By giving things away, I’m clearing what has blocked the light.

“Light!  I’m so happy to see you.”

“I thought I’d find you by holding on.  I was wrong.  It’s all about letting go.”

Sanity is Over Rated

I am forgetful.  I am not as patient as I once was.  The other day, I screamed at a driver to get off her cell phone.  Fortunately, she didn’t see me.  I was shocked and ashamed of myself.  I wanted to pull over and cry.  I’ve had a few people call me nuts.  Ouch.  What happened to tact?  Wait, I don’t have a lot of that either.  Maybe I am a bit nuts.

Recently, I read about the prefrontal cortex (part of the brain).  It’s got an amazing job.  It regulates decision making.  It’s the seat of abstract thought.  It allows people to plan ahead and make strategies.  It controls emotions. It makes good judgments. . . all when working well, of course.  The prefrontal cortex is slow to develop and given as one of the chief reasons why smart teens may make such poor decisions.  It has limits.  In my case, it’s been overloaded trying to cope with the day-to-day that is my life.  My prefrontal cortex is having a bit of a crisis.

On top of circumstances beyond my control, I’ve got a decrease in estrogen.  Researchers used to believe that it affected the menopausal woman’s hippocampus.  Now they find:

“The prefrontal cortex is critical for intact working memory and estrogen enhances performance on working memory tasks. In conclusion, this study provides preliminary evidence for executive dysfunction in untreated menopausal women as women with HRT outperformed women without HRT on tests requiring directed attention, inhibition of inappropriate responses, and cognitive set switching.”  [Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11403979]

Which in lay person’s terms means, I am so screwed.

I didn’t plan on this.  “Lord, what are you thinking?”

“Lord, this is about faith, surrender, acceptance, isn’t it?”  The answer is a peaceful silence.

My God’s not much of a talker but then again, getting a word in edgewise with me, is no easy feat.   So, I try listening.  The clocks ticks off the seconds. I hear the soft rise and fall of my family’s voices as they enjoy a cooking show.  I can’t hear their words but the tone is sweet.  Soon their talk turns to the worm in Mescal.  Funny how quickly their voices rise.  I hear “Uuuuuuh,” then laughter.

Again, the ticking of the clock forces its way to the center of my awareness.  “Lord, are you telling me to heed the passage of time?” In between ticks, I realize that even in these challenging times, my life can be full and sweet.  Blessings are as abundant as sorrows.  One highlights and illuminates the other and I see with fresh eyes, not confined by logic or reason.   Mine is an exquisite kind of crazy.  I’m one lucky woman.  Sanity, is highly overrated.  I’m sure of it.

I am the person behind the words printed here. I write because my heart will not allow me the option of NOT writing. It has taken me half a life time to discover this basic truth, but now that I have, writing is as natural as breathing. This is where my breath takes the form of words.

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The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
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