*Retiremental Discernment – the art of figuring out what the hell to do with yourself as every aspect of your body and mind downshift. And you are old enough to make up words.
We happened to flip through to the Grammy’s last night. As with any television awards show we watched with distraction. Folding laundry. Paying bills. Organizing for the week ahead.
Until…a bright, red haired Cyndi Lauper introduced a duet by Carole King and someone I didn’t know, Sara Bareilles. I love Carole King. Her songs comforted and inspired me as a teen. I was braver because of her words.
I sat down to watch. With all of my attention. I felt goosebumps as these two women, Carole older, Sara younger, sang and played their pianos to each other and to me.
I was still moved this morning, so much so I decided to share it with you.
Sit down. Enjoy.
I have a good friend that often says she doesn’t care.
Sometimes when she says this I feel judgmental, believing she should care. Other times I feel intrigued, wondering what would happen it I didn’t care either.
I think what she is really saying is she is not going to allow said person, event or thing to upset her. She is not going to get wrapped-around-the-axle like another friend describes herself doing.
My dad used to say, “I could care less,” when he was done with us and/or our behavior. (Grammatically speaking he should have said I couldn’t care less, but in that moment I wasn’t about to correct his English.) I knew what he meant was we were on the edge of trouble. I felt hurt when he said this. I wanted him to always care about everything pertaining to me. He usually didn’t. Maybe that is why I care so much today.
Recently, several days in a row, I came home from work and went straight to bed. I thought I was tired. Tom determined I was depressed. That’s the thing with depression, the depress-e doesn’t recognize it, someone from the outside does.
I was depressed. And to my surprise, being truly honest here, I enjoyed it. I felt relieved because when I am depressed I allow myself to care less. I didn’t worry about getting dinner ready or stopping at the store to pick up last minute items. I didn’t feel bad about not returning the calls I needed to make to friends and family. I didn’t care about the half finished house projects waiting for our attention. I didn’t feel not good enough or not important. Because, I didn’t care.
I had unwrapped myself from around the preverbal axle. This was a come-to-Jesus moment.
“Really?”, I asked myself in astonishment. Was this was how I was going to set boundaries? Am I going to take care of myself by going to bed at 5:00 and pulling the covers over my head?
Looking back, my early-to-bed was a break I needed. Kind of a deep breath in my schedule. I have taken this liberty a couple of other times in my life, always around big transitions. Deciding to end my marriage, moving into Pittsburgh and selling our families home, and recently Landon’s wedding.
Sometimes I just need to give myself a break. I depress myself to stop myself. Stop moving. Stop producing. Stop initiating. Going to bed accomplishes this. My mini depressive episode. I now trust this behavior in myself; as long as it is only a couple of days. My internal clock needed to reset.
I wonder if this is an option to getting sick. I used to do that. Every 7 years I would end up in the hospital. My doctor pondered this phenomenon out loud with me, “What’s up?”
There are many ways to stop and regroup. This seems to be mine. It gets my attention and prompts me to make changes. I need to care differently. I need to care at least as much about myself as I do for someone else. I want to hold myself to a softer standard of accountability checking in with my energy level, my interest and my availability.
And after all that, I may decide, that sometimes, I just don’t care.
A couple of weeks ago all of my favorite radio stations held their pledge week. They drive me crazy, and they work. My guilt, my sense of doing my share, and my really wanting that super duper CD or ladies cut T shirt gift with a $120 donation-only $10 a week, you spend that much on coffee, think how well your coffee goes with NPR, pledge now by calling…- drive me to make my pledge. And gladly. They offer a great gift to me and I appreciate it.
And they gave me a great idea. Pledge week at being Boswell.
That’s right. Pledge week.
But don’t send money. (Well you can if you want too.) Send your friends. Introduce them to being Boswell. Suggest if they like it they can subscribe to receive weekly stories. Stories that will make them laugh, as well as bring them to tears. Stories they can relate to, see themselves in, comment on and be part of a conversation. They can even have their Monday morning coffee with bB. And it’s free!
Pick your favorite post, highlight the URL address (that is the long line of letters at the top of the page where the little stone is, for my technically challenged readers, I am not being smart…really) paste it in an email and send it to 10 (or more if you like) friends you think would benefit from reading bB.
If you love bB send a friend now. For the next week the universe will match your friend contribution with one of it’s own. So your donation will be doubled.
I want to increase my readership by the end of the year. Why? Because it is what bloggers do. And if I get really popular, companies will advertise with me and I will be paid for writing. That would be soooo cool. Gaining subscribers also energizes me to keep writing.
So I need your help.
And your gift for pledging friends? An embarsassing picture of me dressed as Mary Tyler Moore/That Girl/Mad Men Woman from last weekends Halloween Party.
A reader recently asked me, “What has happened to your blog? I miss it.”
I appreciated the question, and her caring. And I was uncertain of the answer. What had happened?
Tomorrow, Tuesday the 22nd I will be one year without my period. That may be TMI for some of you, but those of you somewhere on the menopausal spectrum know what that date means. According to western medicine I am in MENOPAUSE, or more accurately, according to Wikipedia, I am postmenopausal.
I have high hopes for myself on Wednesday the 23rd. I have been promised, assured and convinced that menopause is a spiritual club that only women who have survived peri menopause get to join. I think there may even be a special hand shake that I will intuitively know upon waking Wednesday morning. I will greet my fellow PM’ers with a knowing nod. We will smile, confident we have made it to where our erratic, irritable, bleeding sisters wish they were.
By Wednesday afternoon I am counting on my hormones to play nice so I can make it through a day without weeping; that I will no longer be combustable so I can stop stripping off layers in the Apple store in front of a Genius; and that my mind will regain clarity so I can remember the password to my ATM card. (If any of you know differently please don’t burst my bubble. I need this illusion.)
The last 4 weeks, the final menstrual stretch, has left me feeling reclusive. All I want to do is get home, lock the front door, and close the curtains. Some days I can’t get out of the car and up the front steps fast enough. Turning that knob, clockwise, between me and the rest of the world, is a spiritual experience.
Which brings me back the question, “What happened to my blog?” I have had several ideas for interesting posts over the past month. I have written them down, dictated them into my phone and emailed them to myself, recited potential topics in the shower. It’s not that I haven’t been feeling creative, I simply could not make myself type them out. I could not move them beyond my interior self.
I shared this with a friend, concerned that I might be depressed. She is a PM’er too so I knew she would know. She confidently assured me that I was not depressed. She said I was incubating.
I have decided to trust this process. Surrender to it and gracefully morph into my next version of me. I may need to stay under the grow light a little bit longer. I will be sure to let you know how I turn out.
I am going to spare you this weeks writing assignment, it is a rewrite… so instead I have some follow up pictures I have been wanting to show you. First a picture of the nose-less swordfish charm…
Next, when I feel concerned that blog and memoir writing is simply a narcissistic indulgence I subject others to, I remind myself that …
Finally, for some great pictures and very interesting, fun facts. take a look at this website…http://www.wisegeek.com
This blog has officially moved to
See you there!!!
I think I may have mentioned a while ago that I am rebranding Off the Couch. Did I or did I just dream it? Sometimes my dream world and my awake world get mixed up. Like last night I dreamt Tom asked me to leave my nightie on to have coffee on the deck in the morning. So this morning I did, it’s private enough, but I realized as I sat there feeling slightly exposed, Tom hadn’t really asked me, I had dreamt it..but I digress.
So, yes, I have renamed and rebranded this blog. As a result, I feel like I am dumping an old friend. I know this about myself, I tend to attach to inanimate objects. I personify my cars by talking to them, thanking them for their steadfast loyalty, for never letting me down, for getting me places safely, for spending so much quality time with me, that I feel disloyal, ungrateful and abandoning when I trade them in for a newer model. I ask their forgiveness. They always grant it.
I love Off the Couch Blog. I love the very clever, double entendre name. I love Duke, boldly sitting on the couch like he has every right to be there. I smile every time I look at him. I loved writing for Off the Couch this past year and a half. But, it seems, many blog writing therapists are equally as shrewd and Off the Couch is used in many different combinations making it an excessively used name. (Not so clever after all.)
Ergo…rebranding was necessary.
So, I am announcing the birth of being Boswell. And what a birth process it has been. Seven months, almost full term, of time, money, and angst to push this baby out. This past month I have been waking at 3:30 each morning, the witching hour, begging who ever is in charge of these matters to get it the f@#k out of me. (I demanded the same from my obstetrician during the birthing of both of my kids. A girl can only take so much.)
The due date? Well, as so often happens, the timing is serendipitously perfect, despite all of my kicking and screaming, panting and blowing.
Being Boswell will go live this Thursday, December 6th at 12:15 pm. My birth day and time, 55 years ago.
I am so excited and relieved. I feel 30 pounds lighter.
So keep your computers on and your eyes peeled…a baby is coming!!!!!