Being one of 11 kids, I think I yearned for solitude all my life sometimes finding it in books, but more often on the back of my horse on walks through the fields across the street. As an adult living near the ocean, the beach at sunrise offers up its own flavor of sublime isolation. If I can’t get out of the house, I will find my latest knitting project and hide in my bedroom, losing myself in the mindless repetition of throwing string around a stick.
I would have to say my sense of the ridiculous. It makes me a great audience!
“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
― Audrey Hepburn
“Write about what makes you feel strong.”
Some of these Bloganuary prompts are so ironic to me. I read this prompt for today’s post, and all I could think was, “Nothing. Nothing makes me feel strong right now.”
You know how our lives have peaks and flows? Ups and downs? Smooth sailing and rough seas? I’m currently in the downward flow of the deep troughs of a rough sea. I know brighter days are out there. I realize this is temporary, though right now it doesn’t feel like it. I’m always the cheerleader for others who feel this way. Why can’t I cheerlead myself?
I won’t go into the whys and wherefores. No one wants to hear it, and frankly I’m tired of my own voice inside my head. I wish I could say prayer makes me strong like I hear from others, or my family (they do; or at least they try to) or, God help me, my spouse. But right now I don’t feel strong enough to see over it all. I’ve asked God for help. I’ve spoken with my family, many of whom have reached out. But I have a feeling this is something I just need to get through on my own, at least the biggest parts of it. I’ve been through hard times before, but it seems I was younger then; was I somehow stronger because of that? I shouldn’t think so. Maybe. But this time there are so many important variables and too many emotions mixed up in it all that I can’t seem to see the forest for the trees.
So I decided to look for some positive quotes. Just reading them is a good first step, or second, or third…? Here’s one I know was meant for me:
This prompt is very difficult for me as I rarely remember my dreams. I wish I did. I love when I do, mostly. But I’m not a great sleeper, never have been, so maybe that’s why I don’t remember them.
I can tell you a very weird dream I had as a child. It was most definitely a nightmare. I was sleeping in a room with two twin beds, and I think my dad was in the other bed. I could see his outline in the dark, his back facing me. I knew that if I moved even a muscle, even to blink, the room would implode killing him. This was a recurring nightmare, showing itself perhaps every five or six months until I guess I finally outgrew it. But that’s not the weird thing.
I’m third of 11 children. I have a brother Mike who is 16 years younger than me. Finally adults, one night we were all sitting around a campfire reminiscing about growing up in such a large family and comparing differences and similarities between us. As I began telling about my recurring nightmare as a child, Mike suddenly interrupted saying, “I had that same nightmare!”
And then he went on to describe his experience, the absolute terror of having to hold himself so still in case any slight movement would make the room blow up with his dad in it.
I couldn’t believe it. Mike likes to pull your leg and is very good at keeping a straight face when he does. But he swears it happened to him, and more than once. And what he added to his narrative jibed with what I’d experienced but not yet spoken aloud.
I’m relieved I don’t have that dream anymore, but I will always be curious how two siblings, so far apart in years, could possibly have had and still remember the same recurring nightmare.
Me: Thank you for sitting down with me. So, Moira Rose, what is it about you, do you think, that so many women seem to identify with?
Moira: When one of us shines, all of us shine.
Me: I think what I like most about you is your straightforwardness, your no-holds-barred approach to your relationship with others. Have you found that this directness turns some people off?
Moira: That’s exactly the kind of paranoia that makes me weary of spending time with you.
Me: You went from the upper 1% to … well, to this; pretty much nothing, living here in Schitts Creek. And yet you appear to have kept your dignity and your family intact. How do you do it?
Moira: I’ve been gutted. I’ve been stripped of every morsel of pleasure I’ve earned in this life. Who knows what will befall us tomorrow? You could be hit by a Mack truck or bopped on the head by a tiny piece of space debris. One must champion oneself and say, ‘I am ready for this!
Me: But how did you not fall apart?
Moira: Who has time amidst all the chaos?
Me: When your big downfall occurred, what was uppermost in your mind?
Moira: Oh, God. I’d kill for a good coma right now.
Me: Your husband, John, seems to always have a very positive attitude. He tries to make the best of a very bad situation. How does he do it?
Moira: Good men always win.
Me: Your daughter…
Moira: Alexis… something Rose.
Me: … yes, and your son, David, seem to have an interesting relationship with you. What do you say to them after something like this?
Moira: We have no interest in what’s going on with you.
Me: You starred in a soap for many, many years. How did you rise above the gossip mongers?
Moira: Gossip is the devil’s telephone. Best to just hang up.
Me: Do you have a favorite season?
Me: Okay. Well, I appreciate your taking the time to talk with me today. Thank you.
Moira: Let’s go. I’ve had enough waking hours for one day.
“People will forget what you say. People will forget what you do. But people will never forget how you make them feel.”
I love this quote. It is such a true statement. Be it an argument, a tender moment, a scary scene, or a hilarious joke, you will forget exactly what was said or perhaps even the cause, but you will remember the feeling associated with it and be able to pull that feeling up in your memory and your heart.
I think feelings are what make memories. My daughter claims to have very little recollection of her childhood; she was always looking forward to what’s next. As an adult who loves to travel, I’ve suggested to her that she absolutely live in the moment, look around and place her entire self there and feel; acknowledge any event, good or bad, appreciate your place in that scene, and see if it helps when trying to recall it. I think it has worked for her. Recounting her last solo trip, I could feel in the telling the excitement of kayaking in Venice and discovering the salt flats of Malta. She felt her memories.
Conversely, I believe this quote is exactly why men claim women have the memory of an elephant when it comes to an argument. I’m convinced it’s not that we remember the argument or even why there was an argument. We remember it because of how it made us feel.
At first glance, this would be a quick and easy question to answer. In fact, it sounds like fun, right? Especially if you could go back in time knowing what you know now. Once you’ve decided on a time, you must attempt to answer ‘why?’ This, I find, is more difficult.
Let’s say at this stage in my 66-year life I decide I would like to backtrack several years and perhaps change my decision on something of importance. Seems simple enough; right? The old saying, ‘You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone’ comes to mind. The ‘why’ is because I now believe I made the wrong decision for the wrong reasons. And so I do. I go back in time with the full knowledge of the present day and choose another path.
I’m now thrown back into the unknown, trading the devil I knew for the devil I don’t. I don’t know. Perhaps I didn’t go back far enough. Now is the conundrum of knowing what I know, and more importantly WHO I know, and risking NOT knowing them with a different decision.
I think I’ll go to the future, still knowing what I know. But how far? At 66 years old, if I go TOO far, well, that could be pretty disastrous. If I go, say, 10 years to 76, do I really want to see my 76-year-old self before I have to? 66 is tough enough!
It’s funny that this particular scenario came up today. It has put things into perspective at a time when my perspective has been clouded with so many issues and emotions that I can’t see the forest for the trees. God and life work in mysterious ways.
Believe me, I love to travel. It’s right up there with that first cup of coffee or sitting at the beach. I love everything about it. But I think I’ll leave time travel for my dreams.