After smiling the day before, I hoped yesterday would be filled with smiles as well. Not so much. The day started out well. We were invited to dear friends for breakfast and then planned to go to our 12-Step meeting. Somewhere in that lovely plan, things went awry.
When we think about our future, some of the planning is fun, up to a certain point. Then one of the many roadblocks comes into view and everything quickly seems dismal. Given the large amount of unknowns regarding where we are in the process with our insurance company, what our final options may be, or even where we want to be, nothing
is certain. And, due to the instability and upheaval of the last month, it is relatively easy to come unhinged. Yesterday David said, “We are held together right now by bailing wire and chewing gum”. Read More
Yesterday we smiled. Not that we haven’t smiled at all during the last month but the smiles previously were fleeting and slight. Yesterday we smiled a lot. As we scrambled to get out of the house to meet the Fire Marshall, we bumped into each other, our non-existent patience worn thin. I had a conference call to start my authors on their writing day – another one I wouldn’t be joining – and begged their forgiveness as I adjusted the time to make our important appointment.
When we arrived, we were greeted by a group of neighbors, Randy the Fire Marshall, Kate from the County, Sean from Planning and Zoning and Dan from the Fire Department – with a shiny red fire truck. Although the sun was shining, a biting wind chilled us to our core as we stood and waited for the bad news to begin. This meeting was to detail our “options” around improving our road. We had received the news that due to the poor condition of our private roads, unless we brought them up to snuff, we would not have rights to any future emergency services which would prohibit the desire of any insurance company to insure us again (if they ever would anyway…). This was very bad news when we first got wind of it. A major roadblock in our future plans with a giant price tag attached. Read More
I coach my author clients to sit for as long as it takes to get words on a page. This morning, my resistance is robust. I am pulled to zone out. I don’t want to write. Tired of saying the same things in different ways, I worry you are tired too. I indulged in a very large peanut butter cookie last night (I know, alert the press!) and have a sugar hangover. Fuzzy headed, my thoughts are sludge. I misplaced my reading glasses so I squint and barely make out the screen. Yet, still I sit. I remember my darkest day yet was the day I chose not write… I don’t want to go there again. Writing has become my way of greeting the day, of processing what needs to be processed. Yes, I may be saying similar things. My brain is still attempting to make sense of the nonsensical. It is still processing the trauma. And, as the numbness wears off the jagged reality emerges. There is no going back. This is my new life. Who would have thunk it?
Yesterday, I watched the last of the metal scraps that once were my house be towed away.
As the flatbed flexed to pick up the load, I caught a final glimpse before it disappeared from view.
Pieces of my house, pieces of my life, memories turned into heaps of metal tumbled together then vanished down the road on their journey to recycling. Read More
My mornings are a combination of checking email and Facebook, making coffee and sitting down to write. I used to treat my writing time as more of a “sacred space”. Not wanting to bring in any distractions, I would calm myself first, absolutely not check email or Facebook and sit down to write for my appointed time. I have abandoned this practice. Now, I jump around a little manically and still manage to write.
This morning, I explore the symptoms of PTSD and while on this track, I listen to Louis GK’s “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy”
diatribe on Conan.
Edgy, real and making fun of all we hold precious.
Because I laugh, does that mean I don’t have any PTSD symptoms?
No, it doesn’t mean that.
Fortunately I have the ability to view my situation and myself objectively.
I know the most important thing I can do is to be where I am, and not judge my process.
I am pretty
good at that. Read More
Bad dream early this morning. We were living in a police state where some group had taken over everything. On the surface it looked ok, but some of us knew the truth. Curfews were in place and people were mysteriously disappearing. I had been forewarned and somehow David and I were not together. He was back in the town – and I was on the edge of the woods on the outside of the boundary lines. Communication was sketchy. Cell phones were working intermittently and we didn’t want to have our ringers to alert anyone to our location. I kept trying to reach David and left him partial messages each time we were cut off. The group I was with was heading out soon. I was begging David to come quickly. He kept saying he would leave in 9 minutes but each time I reached him he hadn’t left yet. Suddenly my group was gone without telling me and I was alone. Franticly, I searched for David, sneaking back into town obscuring my head and face in a hat and mask. Read More
Contentment consists not in adding more fuel, but in taking away some fire - Thomas Fuller
On my women’s abundance call, we discussed the concept of contentment. What does it mean to be content? When are we most content? The inquiry ended with an invitation to begin each day in contentment as a context for our day. I politely declined. I don’t want to do that right now.
I am not sure I really know what it means to be content. Or maybe I do know, and I just forget. I do long for it. But the truth is, I have always longed for it. Even in all my appreciation of and gratitude for my life, contentment alluded me. If I don’t end up more content on the other side of this grand adventure, I want my money back!
Yes, I do know that contentment is not an arrival point… I know it but I don’t live from that knowing.
My Mac tells me that contentment means: “quietly satisfied and happy”.
It’s the satisfaction part that gets me.
What is it to be satisfied?
What does that feel like? Read More
Yesterday was dark. I never managed to emerge from the clouds. I saw brief rays of sunshine but they passed quickly and disappeared back into the muck. As I sat down to write yesterday, all I could feel was a deep exhaustion. Hoping the day would bring some lightness to my mood, I chose to write later. Instead, by the end of the day, I couldn’t focus. Until Dusty came over and lifted my spirits, that is.
On Sunday night, we had the first meeting of the homeowners who lost homes. Putting faces to names and coming together as a group was good. Seeing the devastation in their faces was heart breaking. We are now bonded in ways that will sustain. We may drift out of each others lives, but we will never forget our connection. Having survived a fire and now dealing with the agony of putting our lives back together; we are part of a club that no one ever wanted to join. Grown men who were strangers a few weeks ago now openly share their tears. Women meet for the first time with open arms and deep sobs. We look knowingly into each others eyes. One neighbor shared her struggle with merely buying a bra – I understand. I haven’t been able to purchase my teakettle yet. I know I want it but can’t quite pull the trigger. For a shopper, this is weird. The joy is gone from shopping. It now resides in the column of overwhelming tasks. Read More
I slept in until 7am! Amazing. Not quite rested, but happy that my wee hour wake up did not keep me awake. Although I “slept in”, I feel heavy headed. Every day, as I sit down to write; I don’t know what will come. I process what needs to be processed. I say what is there immediately, or what comes to me as I sit.
Today, as I sit down to write, I wonder if my writing will happen; if I will find my flow. Right now, it feels effortful. I worry I will run out of words before I run out of life. Then Tigger throws up on the carpet and I jump up to scrub the green vomit before it becomes a stain.
During that task, my thoughts come in the form of sentences that need to be written. Often, when I process internally, my thoughts come out this way. Based on that evidence, I can’t imagine I will ever run out of words. It is just a concern that we writers face: the dreaded “writers block”. Read More
Occasionally the thought surfaces, “maybe it’s time to start viewing this as an adventure.” For a moment, I see the possibility. Then the grief surfaces again. I think I may be rushing things with that thought… I think I need to just be where I am.
Again, I awoke at 3:30am and tossed and turned until 5, finally getting up. I feel the exhaustion right now. It’s heavy, dark, deep.
Today, we have (hopefully) the last sifting session at the site. The crew is mostly women – many friends driving from Boulder and Denver. A few neighbors who were spared coming by to help as well – Janet Shown is leading that charge. More angels are swooping down to ease our pain.
I have organized a meeting of the homeowners who lost homes for tomorrow night. We will come together for the first time. Through this process, I am hearing more and more harrowing stories. Just wept through this one from Mo Larsen who gave me permission to share. It’s terrifying. Read More
This morning, my spinning mind won’t let me go back to sleep. Emerging pattern: 3am, I have to pee, then I toss and turn until 5am and get up… No thank you. The fear won’t release it’s grip. Fear that I won’t fit back in to my life – I won’t. Fear that people’s support will dry up – it will. Fear of being alone – we all are alone. Yes, we all are connected, but we all are ultimately alone. It’s PMS time, so my feelings are deeper and more raw. I always have a little of this during my time of the month. I become over sensitive, hyper reactive, thin-skinned and more fun things.
The world is moving on. It has to. Our world is moving, but just not “on” yet. After May 12th
, we don’t know where we will be staying. We have been living in luxury through the generosity of our dear friends Lynn and Laurie who offered their majestic log home. We have had the much much much needed space to ourselves. So many thoughtful people offered rooms – and we deeply appreciate all offers – however having our own space is essential for our healing. Not having to make polite – or not so polite – conversation with generous hosts is important. Here, we don’t have to talk to anyone. We can leave dishes in the sink, walk around naked and fart when we feel like it. All very important things. For people who have lost everything, we sure can make a mess. The 6-person dining room table is command central. It is caked with stacks of notebooks for inventory, piles of new receipts as we buy groceries and replace some essential housewares (like a new French press!), as well as cards of love sent from near and far and gift certificates sent to support us our replacement efforts. It’s hard to find a place to sit down. Read More