Keep Writing

Ideas scattered
No inspiration
Whether to seek
Or to settle
Accepting
The need to let
My mind rest
Not sure
I know how…
Pick up the pen
Perhaps
Motor
Movement
Will trigger
Creativity
Perhaps not-
Either way
Watching
Words appear
Somehow
Slows
Racing heart
Cools
Heated face
Relaxes
Frantic brain-
Powerful process
Placing thoughts
On a page

Summer break is coming to an end. I am preparing for school to start. We continue to deal with living in a pandemic. Not surprisingly, my thoughts are scattered. And that is ok. There is strength in honesty. ❤️

Already?

When the pink letters came in the mail last week, I thought this can’t be right. There is no way it is already time for my mammogram. It was only in March that I had surgery. An incisional biopsy. And before that, an MRI, ultrasounds, more mammograms, etc.  

But here was my pink letter, sent twice. So, I called to schedule. And today was the day.

Even though my previous test results were all benign, I found myself feeling panicky this morning. The thought of a mammogram, especially after surgery, made me cringe. But I got up, got dressed, and headed that way.  

Well, I stopped at Starbucks first for a London Fog latte. Surely that would help.

Checked in, got my little bracelet, and was called back in a few minutes.  Undress from the waist up, put on your cape, opens in the front. Always the same. I chuckled when I saw the flowery material. After putting it on, I proceeded to take a selfie. For some unknown reason, I felt the need to document.

Wouldn’t you love to be this fashion forward? 😉

Still feeling a little anxious, I took a deep breath and tried to relax. And then, at the perfect moment, my mom sent a text.  Praying for you. Love and hugs. Of course, I responded by sending her my selfie.  

The technician was friendly. She asked me my birthdate, routine. After a few seconds of thinking, She laughed and said, I am 25 days older than you. We laughed that I was making her do the math. She quickly put me at ease.  

Was it still uncomfortable? Yes. But was it necessary? Also, yes. 

Early detection is crucial. And the only way for that to happen is consistent screening. Don’t wait! Besides, you might just get to wear a lovely flowery cape. 🌸💗

Clipping Stitches

A simple
Solitary
Seed
Of doubt
Sewing stitches
Choking roots
Once confident
Threatening
Downward
Spiral
Second-guessing
Simplest decisions
Sense of dread
Starting
In the brain
Slowly shifts
Stomach
Tied in knots
Realization
Anxiety has
Once again
Crept in
Recognizing
Is step one
Clipping stitches
Step two
Freeing roots
To stretch
And grow
Crushing
The doubt
Regaining
Confidence

Whether the tiniest reason or no reason at all, anxiety just shows up some days. Sharing helps. You never know who may be able to relate. Be encouraged. ❤️

Mingling

Gentle breeze
Across my face
Carries hope
For a new day
Lately my mind
Has been stormy
Unable to focus
Thoughts jumping
From one to
The other like
Lightning bolts
On the horizon-And yet,
The storm passed
With a quiet word
A gentle embrace-
Reassurance from
Your presence
Mingling with
The breeze-
Kissing away my fears

Simply Powerful

Power is often
Found in the simple
Expressions of love
In very few words
Because those are
The only words
Necessary-
Praying for peace
Held in love
Thinking this morning
Filled with courage-
Words from the
Hearts of others
Allowing themselves
To be givers
Of the calm
Their kindness
Pulling away
Anxiousness
Lifting me up
Carrying me
Reminding me how much
I am loved and cared for
Leaving a smile
On my face
A melody
In my heart

These past few weeks have been challenging. An MRI led to a biopsy which led to surgery. Yesterday, I had an excisional biopsy. The surgery went well. I am having very little pain and will spend a few days resting. Once again, we are waiting for the results.

I was very anxious the few days leading up to surgery, until the day before and the morning-of when messages began to pop up on my phone. Each one lifted another piece of the struggle. Each one reminded me that someone else cared.

Yesterday morning, I was overwhelmed with feelings of peace and calm. As I thought about it this morning, I realized many contributed to those feelings. They are still present today. And I know they will carry me through the waiting. ❤

Calling My Name

Water was rising
Along with it-fear
Threatening to take
Control of the day
As it covered first
Feet, then ankles,
And knees before
Briefly pausing
At the waist-
Desperate to find
A way out of the deep
Before suffocation
Reached the chest,
I closed my eyes-
Letting go of fear
Hope began to flow
Along with it-trust
Pushing and pulling
Through the currents
Inch by inch until
My feet stood
Once again
On the shore
Greeted by the love
That never stopped
Calling my name

Continue reading “Calling My Name”

Enjoying Time

Several times this past week, I thought about painting. An extra colorful sunrise on my drive to work or maybe the evening sky-I would notice a scene and think, “Wonder if I could paint that?”

Of course, time passed, and I used none of it for painting…until today.

My sister-in-law, Paula, was in town this weekend. She invited me and my daughter, Rachel, to a brunch today at my mother-in-law’s house. Thought it would be nice to have some girl time.  

When Rachel and I walked in, it looked like a party! Pretty pink plates with gold polka dots, matching napkins graced a gold tablecloth. A coffee bar, mimosa bar, yogurt bar, scones, and yummy croissant breakfast sandwiches were displayed in the kitchen.

What a surprise! And then I noticed the centerpiece on the table. It was a flowery coffee cup with the letter K filled with pink flowers. Curious. Then my sweet mother-in-law, June, said, “Well, this brunch is for you.”

I have been a little nervous about some upcoming medical tests. The brunch was supposed to be a pick-me-up. That it was. ❤

We ate, laughed, talked, prayed, and I cried just a little. We also baked cookies and watched a great movie. I returned home relaxed and encouraged.

Guess what I did once back home? Painted! Maybe not one of the skies from previous days, but that does not matter. The love and kindness of family reminded me of the importance of slowing down. Enjoying time without worrying about what is to come.

Power in Admission

I have shared openly about struggles with anxiety and depression. And I recognize there is always room for improvement in my coping skills.  

If I remember to breathe, it helps.  If I think ahead, I can prepare for problematic situations. Nevertheless, sometimes things just happen.

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Beautiful does not adequately describe either of these places. The vastness and variety in these almost untouched lands are overwhelming.

And yet, even during our wonderful trip, anxiety crept in. We had been exploring Yellowstone all morning and decided to drive to the Tetons. This was the first visit to this area for both of us, an adventure.  

This particular drive brought a little more adventure than I preferred. We were driving along, listening to history and information about the area, when the road suddenly took us right along the edge of Clark Canyon.  

A quick glance out the window, and I began to panic. My body had an instant reaction. My heart sank, began beating rapidly. My stomach felt like it had been turned upside down. I wanted to crawl in a hole. Yes, I endured. But it was not fun.

Those anxious feelings crept back in later that night. I had trouble sleeping. Would tomorrow’s drive be similar? Slow, deep breaths finally helped, and I was able to sleep.

The next morning, we were on the road again. We had a basic plan of places we wanted to see. Our first stop was great! Some incredible, colorful geothermal displays. But soon, I was feeling afraid of the unknowns. Would we have to drive on any roads like the one yesterday? Just the thought and anxiety began to rise.

Finally, I said it aloud. “The thought of a drive like yesterday is making me feel panicky. I’m not sure I can do it.” After saying those words to my husband and allowing a few tears to fall, I felt much better.  

He knows me well. His response was reassuring. Soon we were laughing and ready to face the rest of the day. He even asked a park ranger for advice on the least scary route for our last stop. (Which apparently was not an unusual request.) 😉

Now, I would be lying if I said there were no other moments of panic. However, they did not take over my thoughts. My physical reactions were not as severe, and I was able to enjoy the beauty of the places we visited.

No, I did not want to admit how I felt. But, oh, I am so glad I did. It was an important reminder there is power in admission.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Artist Point Overlook

Waves

Although I prefer to spend time in the mountains, the ocean also fascinates me. Waves come in many forms, each with its own purpose and level of intensity. We can learn so much just from observing.

Sometimes the waves are gentle, barely lapping at the sand on the beach. With little force, this wave flows over my feet, body unwavering. Sometimes the swells are playful. Just strong enough to cause the body to sway back and forth.

Other times, the waves are fierce. Swells so high, they knock over everything in their path. No point in resisting. An impossible fight.

Life feels that way sometimes.

Maybe it is a wave of emotions brought on by exhaustion. The kind of tired that knocks me off my feet. Such was the case last Friday. After finishing the third week of school, I had nothing left. I felt like waves were overtaking me. No choice but to give in to the tears already flowing, and then sleep.

Saturday morning was different. The storm had passed. Moments to relax and enjoy my morning cup of coffee were like gentle waves ushering in the day. Later, there was time for reflection to reveal the positives from the previous week.

Both waves were necessary. Sometimes rest does not come until I stop fighting and give in. Only then will I experience peaceful, renewing rest. The kind of rest that prepares me for whatever is in store.

Here’s to a new week! And all the waves it may bring-fierce, fun, or gentle.

Reminders

I seem to need the same reminder over and over these days. My husband would agree. 😉 What reminder? Stop worrying about things that are out of your control. Focus on what is in front of you today.

Sounds easy enough. And yet, I continue to struggle. I am beginning to recognize it more quickly, so I suppose that is progress. Or maybe, it is just part of life. Either way, here is a little reminder for me. And anyone else who might need one. ❤

Release

Holding on
Too tight
To things
I cannot
Control
Tension
Held in
Clenched fists
Raised shoulders
A stiff neck
Its journey
Does not
End there
It travels on
To the heart
Then shows
On my face-
The struggle
Within me
Seeping out-
Perhaps
The solution is
Also within me
A cleansing breath
In and out
Allowing
Every fiber
To release
The hands
To relax
A full circle
Ending with
An honest
Smile and
Open heart