CONVERSATION WITH…Swiss Cheese…A Spiritual Leader in Older Age

Traveling Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I arrived at a place where all residents gathered for an uplifting, spiritual experience. The building didn’t resemble a church, synagogue, mosque or any other house of prayer. It was just a giant hunk of Swiss cheese. A slender, aging, slightly moldy slice of Swiss cheese approached. I said:

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I might be wrong, but, are you the spiritual leader here?

SWISS CHEESE: I am. How can I be of assistance?

Well, I’m here, Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, trying to figure out where I belong in the world as I grow older. I’m searching for my spark.

SWISS CHEESE: Welcome, my friend. I hope you will find it here.

Thank you, but how might that be possible? You’re a piece of Swiss cheese.

SWISS CHEESE: My dear, as I age, it is not my physical form or what I look like that matters. It is what I stand for that counts. That is all.

I’m not sure I’m understanding you.

SWISS CHEESE:  Let me explain. As a spiritual leader in this land, I encompass all religions, races, ages, ethnic backgrounds, cultures and traditions. My holes remind us all of the holes we’ve had in our lives that we have yet to fill.

Ah. Okay. I think I’m beginning to see where you’re coming from. You mean, your holes represent regrets from our pasts. Relationships we’d like to change. Adventures we’d still like to have. Parts of our emotional selves we’d like to nurture so we can continue to grow.

SWISS CHEESE: That is right. Sometimes in our busy lives, we don’t take the time to think of these things. My Swiss Cheese House of Spirituality gives us a moment to stop, breathe, look back on where we’ve been, determine what’s missing, and look forward to what might be ahead.

I appreciate what you’re saying. My only problem is I don’t live Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road permanently. There isn’t a Swiss Cheese House of Spirituality in my neighborhood. How can I translate what you’re saying to my everyday life?

SWISS CHEESE: Others have asked the same question. Here is my answer. Each time you order a sandwich in a Deli, you’ll be reminded of me. Remember what I stand for.

You know, for a slice of Swiss cheese, you’re exceptionally wise.

SWISS CHEESE: Many have told me that. You know, I would love to spend more time exchanging thoughts, but it is time for our weekly service. I hope you will join us.

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With that, the slice of Swiss cheese entered the Swiss Cheese House of Spirituality. Many others I’d met Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road followed. Entering the giant hunk of Swiss cheese, I noticed an older tree, a shower cap, a sponge, the Wicked Witch of the West Coast, a dandelion, a vampire, a bird, the Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe, a wrinkled water bottle…and so many others. It didn’t matter where they all came from. It only mattered where they hoped to go.

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Is there a hole you’d still like to fill in your life?

 

CONVERSATION WITH…A Sunshine Blogging Award

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, a blogging award started following me. I wondered what it wanted.

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Excuse me, Sunshine Blogging Award, can I help you?

BLOG AWARD: Actually, I can help YOU. RudyMariee from the blog: http://www.visionsandgiggles.com/  has nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award.

Omg! That’s so flattering and such an honor!  Especially coming from RudyMariee. She’s an amazing writer. Every one of her posts is so genuine. She writes from her heart, is funny, and I always relate to the way she looks at life and her family. So, I’ll take the award.

BLOG AWARD: Hold your horses. You haven’t won yet. First you have to do a few things.

Like what?

BLOG AWARD: Start by linking your blog back to http://www.visionsandgiggles.com Actually, I just did that for you.

Thanks. Now I’ll take my award.

BLOG AWARD: Nope. Now you need to answer eleven questions about yourself that RudyMariee created below.

Okay, here I go.  Here are the answers to RudyMariee’s questions:

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I hope to reside permanently Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road.

  1. If you could change one thing about the current world, what would it be?

Revise gun control laws in the United States.

  1. Why did you start blogging?

Throughout my career, I’ve been a writer. I’ve always compromised with those who have hired me in order to “get the job done.” My blog is just my own writing voice. No revisions. No rewrites. For better or for worse.  🙂

  1. What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Follow your heart. You’ll reach those who will “get you” and they will follow you.

  1. What is the most interesting or most unusual thing about you?

I wrote for Sesame Street for twenty years, so I spent a lot of time with the Cookie Monster and the Snuffleupagus.

  1. What would be your idea of a perfect day?

Being left alone. I’m really a cat disguised as human.

  1. What are you most passionate about?

My family, writing, eating.

  1. What are you planning to do differently in 2018 in regards to your blog?

In April, I have a book coming out which is based on my blog. It’s called, “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road.” It has a story that I might incorporate into my posts.

  1. Have you found anything particularly difficult about your blogging journey?

Making enough time to read all the amazing blogs I follow.

  1. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Biographies and autobiographies about artists.

  1. If you could be anyone for 24 hours, who would it be?

        Albert Brooks. He makes me laugh the hardest.

BLOG AWARD: Nice job.

Fine. I’ll take my award now.

BLOG AWARD:  Nope. Now you have to nominate eleven new bloggers.

Are you kidding me? That’s almost impossible. I read so many different kinds of blogs written by so many different, talented people. I cherish the exchanges I have with each and every one of them. How can I possibly choose eleven?

BLOG AWARD:  Just do it, or you won’t get your award.

Okay, how about this? I read blogs written by people who express themselves through words, art, photographs, humor, food, poetry, fashion, spirituality, health and pets. I’ll nominate one or two bloggers from each category, and they’ll represent all the awesome blogs I read on all those topics.

BLOG AWARD:  Works for me.

So, to represent all the blogs I follow, I nominate these eleven talented bloggers for the Sunshine Blogging Award. They help look at the world differently every day:

https://www.shallowreflections.com/

https://3cstyle.com/2018/01/21/the-nature-of-change-and-the-nature-of-fashion/

https://deepasthoughts.wordpress.com/

https://grapegravy.com/2018/02/01/spicy-green-salsa/

https://sevencatsandcounting.wordpress.com/author/sevencatsandcounting/

https://claudiamcgillart.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/scrutinized-people/

https://roseelaineblog.com/2018/02/15/five-little-angels-10/

https://rabbitpatchdiary.com/

https://muddlingthroughmymiddleage.com/

https://mainepaperpusher.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/guest-in-jest-30-over-the-hill-on-the-yellow-brick-road/

https://soulgifts.com.au/author/soulgifts2012/

Now can I have my award?

BLOG AWARD:   Nope.  One more thing.  Write eleven new questions your blogger nominees must answer.  HERE ARE THE RULES: To be winners, your nominees will:

Thank you and link back to your blog.

Answer eleven new questions you will ask them below.

Nominate eleven new bloggers and write them eleven new questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Logo.

Okay. Here are the eleven new questions for my blogger nominees:

  1. From where do you draw inspiration for your blog?
  2. What’s the title of your favorite post and why do you like it best?
  3. If you could have a second home anywhere in the world or universe, where would it be?
  4. What’s your favorite childhood memory?
  5. Who is your favorite fairy tale character?
  6. What’s your favorite food?
  7. If you could be a flower or a tree, what kind would you be?
  8. Where do you go if you want to have a quiet, spiritual moment?
  9. If you could live one part of your life over again, what part would it be?
  10. Who is your favorite artist?
  11. What’s an adventure in your life you’d still like to have?

NOW? Now can I please have my award?

BLOG AWARD:  It’s yours.

Yaaay! Finally!  And, thanks again to RudyMariee  at:  http://www.visionsandgiggles.com/

I’m exhausted!  🙂

 

 

 

 

CONVERSATION WITH…The Old Woman in the Shoe…Holding Onto Her Sensuality

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, around Valentine’s Day, I started thinking about ways I might continue to rekindle my sensual feelings as I grow older. I decided to discuss it with The Old Woman Who Lives in a Shoe, from the Nursery Rhyme. She had so many kids she didn’t know what to do. I figured she might have a lot to say on the subject. I’d met her once before, and at that time she mentioned she was an empty nester. So when I stopped by her shoe to chat a second time, we got right into our conversation…

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So, Woman in the Shoe, I’ll be frank. After giving birth to 3,103 children with your various husbands and partners, I imagine you’ve had an incredible variety of intimate and romantic experiences.

WOMAN IN SHOE:  To say the least.

But now that all your kids are adults and you’re growing older, what’s happened to your sensuality?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  It’s still there.

But is it harder to find that part of yourself?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  No, because I’m bringing it out in a different way. I’m drawing on my repressed teenage years.

What do you mean?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  Well, back when I was a teenager, my parents were ridiculously strict when it came to boys and dating.

How?

WOMAN IN SHOE: When I was fifteen, I was over-the-top excited because a boy asked me on a date.

I remember how that felt! 

WOMAN IN SHOE: But my batshit crazy parents wouldn’t let me go. They said I couldn’t date until I was less “boy crazy.”

Are you serious?

WOMAN IN SHOE:  It gets worse. When I was seventeen and finally had a boyfriend, my parents made it clear if I went to the park with a boy, I’d get pregnant. Pregnancy was also very likely if I went to the mall with a boy,  a restaurant, hiking, the library, a football game, or bowling.  In fact, if I looked at a boy, there was a good chance I’d conceive.

I’m speechless.

WOMAN IN SHOE: So then! When I turned eighteen and escaped from my parent’s loony bin, I went to town! I went anywhere and everywhere with boys from all over the world. Any kind of romantic or intimate moment you can imagine, I had. For years and years and years.

So that’s how you ended up with all those kids.

WOMAN IN SHOE: Exactly.

Okay, but how about NOW? Your kids are adults and you’re getting older. How do you rekindle those sensual moments at this point in your life?

WOMAN IN SHOE: I’m still filling  in the gaps after living in my parent’s prison. When I was a teenager, my parents didn’t allow me to go steady. So, my current husband just gave me his ID bracelet.  For the first time in my life, I’m going steady.

Aaaah.

WOMAN IN SHOE:  I highly recommend it in older age. I mean, my wedding ring represents a warm and familiar stability. But my ID bracelet is kinda hot.

When I was a teenager, my parents wouldn’t allow me to pierce my ears. Maybe after all these years, I’ll do it and buy myself a pair of elegant, dangling earrings.

WOMAN IN SHOE: I’ll take a pair too.

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How do you hold onto your sensuality?

CONVERSATION WITH…A Sandcastle Fearing Death At All Times

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I took a walk on a beach and noticed a sandcastle.  I plopped down beside it and started a conversation.

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Hey Sandcastle—

SANDCASTLE:  Stop right there.  Don’t talk to me.

Why not?

SANDCASTLE:  You won’t want to hear what I have to say.

Because?

SANDCASTLE:  I’m obsessed with death. Every time I hear a wave coming toward me, I panic. I’m always worried about when I won’t exist anymore.

Me too.

SANDCASTLE: Really?

Yes. Especially as I grow older.  I try not to let my fear rise to the surface at all times, but underneath I’m always afraid.

SANDCASTLE:  I have two levels of anxiety.  If I hear a smaller wave rolling in, I don’t worry as much because it’s not as likely to reach me.  But if the wave sounds large and roars in my direction, I have a full blown panic attack.  Know what I mean?

Definitely. I worry I’ll come down with a sudden illness and my body won’t be able to fight it off.  Like, right now there’s a flu epidemic in my area, so I stay at home, hide under the covers and watch the Food Network.  It relaxes me. I isolate myself because I’m afraid I’ll get sick and won’t be able to get through it.

SANDCASTLE:  I isolate myself, too.  I won’t take on any tenants. Like snails.  I turn them away.  I’m not sure how long I’ll be here.  At any moment, I might be gone.

Actually, you wouldn’t exactly be “gone.”

SANDCASTLE:  What? Why not?

Well, before you were a sandcastle you were zillions of grains of sand on the beach.  That’s how you started.

SANDCASTLE:  How do you know?

Trust me on this one.  Anyway, eventually somebody came along and molded you into a different form—a sandcastle.

SANDCASTLE:  Your point being?

When a wave eventually washes over you—

SANDCASTLE: Don’t say that!!!!

Hear me out.  When a wave eventually washes over you, you’ll go back to the form you were before—grains of sand on the beach. You’ll be back where you started, but you won’t be “gone.”

SANDCASTLE: This is blowing my mind.

Maybe the wave will even wash you into the ocean, so you’ll be part of the amazing community under the sea.

SANDCASTLE:  You know… I didn’t think it was possible…but you just made me feel better. No more Prozac for me.

Good to know. It just seems there are so many answers to questions about life and our existence in nature.  The answers are all around us. We just have to look for them.

SANDCASTLE:  I wish I had something useful to add.

No worries.

SANDCASTLE: Wait!  I just thought of something.  If what you say about nature is true, maybe what goes for me can go for you.  I mean, if I started in one form, morphed into another, and will go back to my original form one day…maybe the same will happen to you.

Maybe….

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CONVERSATION WITH…An older door

As I travel Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I have to remind myself to look upward every once in a while.  I never know if a house will fall from the sky and crash on top of me. Today, an actual school building fell from the heavens. Thankfully, it landed along the side of the road.  Believe it or not, it was the building where my two children went to preschool!  I rushed inside and found their old classroom!  Though the room had been turned into a library, the old door was still there.  We chatted…

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Hey door?  Do you remember when I used to drop my kids off in your room a million years ago?

OLD DOOR:  Of course. I remember everyone who comes in and out of this place. I don’t have a lot else to do. I remember your son cried a lot when you dropped him off here at preschool.

Yeah. I remember leaving the room and then peeking through the window at the top of you to see how he was doing.

DOOR:  If memory serves, he was so upset he actually had to drop out and come back the next year.  He missed you terribly.

I know. Back then, I thought he would have fun in the classroom with the other kids as soon as I left. I also needed a little space for myself to live my own life.  So, I played with my son in the classroom for a while…and when I thought he’d be fine without me, I’d whisper, “I have to go now.”

DOOR:  And he’d wail.

Looking back, I guess he didn’t understand. It probably made no sense to him.  He was probably very hurt. But eventually he dried his tears and moved on.

DOOR: On the other hand…I remember your daughter didn’t mind being dropped off here at preschool.

I know!  Before I could finish saying, “I have to go now,” she was bopping over to the other kids. 

DOOR:  So you left, closed me behind you, and scrunched your nose up against my little window to see how your daughter was doing.

She was always having a good time. That made me very happy because I needed a little space for myself.  I needed to live my own life.

DOOR:  But! Your daughter always insisted on coming home for lunch.  She only wanted to stay in preschool for a few hours. That was her limit.

I remember sometimes she had to stay longer because I had to work. She cried.  She probably didn’t understand.  I probably hurt her feelings.

DOOR: But eventually she dried her tears and moved on.

And now the tables have turned.  My kids are young adults. When my daughter travels from the other side of the country for a visit, I always want her to stay longer and spend more time with me.  But, at a certain point, she says, “I have to go now.” 

DOOR: And your son?

He lives about an hour away. When he comes home for a visit, I soooo enjoy his company!  But at a certain point, he gets up and says, “I have to go now.” 

DOOR: That must be hard.

 I don’t always understand.  Sometimes it hurts my feelings. I miss my children terribly.

DOOR: But you dry your tears and move on.

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CONVERSATION WITH…MY OLDEST DOLL…Because I Still Love to Play

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I couldn’t believe it!  My oldest childhood doll, Chatty Cathy, was waddling toward me!  I rushed over and gave her the biggest hug!

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Chatty Cathy!  What are you doing here?

CHATTY CATHY DOLL:  I heard you were visiting these parts and I had to see you!

OMG!  You look great!

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Well, I’d look better if you hadn’t given me a bad haircut back when you were a little girl. I still don’t appreciate the bald spot in the back of my head.

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I’m so sorry.  My sister and I were playing barber.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: I guess you felt you had to wash my hair with Ajax, too?

It probably didn’t help the texture.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: But I loved you anyway!  You were the best little girl!  We had the silliest imaginary tea parties!  And the craziest times playing house!  And I loved when you shoved me on the make believe school bus with all the rest of the dolls and your sister pushed us all around the room in a giant chair.

Yeah, you just went around and around and around the room and never made it to school.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Good times!

Yes, they were. And I’ll let you in on a secret.  I’m still a little girl.  I still love to play and play and play and play.  It’s just harder to find someone to play with as I get older.

CHATTY CATHY: I’ll  play with you!

You will??  I would love that!  What should we play?  I mean, I’m not into having an imaginary tea party or playing house anymore. How can we play with each other now that we’re both older?  What can we play?

CHATTY CATHY: Hmmm…I’m not sure.  I should tell you the “talking ring” on the back of my neck doesn’t work anymore.  When you pull it out, the spring is broken so it just snaps back.

It doesn’t matter, I don’t work as well as I used to either. I guess if we’re going to play, we should play about something that matters in our lives right now. 

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Like what?

I know! 

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Uh oh.

Hear me out. I’ve been thinking about adding a little pink or purple in my hair for the past few years. But, I don’t want to bleach my hair to do it. Also, I’m wondering if I’m too old to walk around with that look.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: So, what made you think of it now?

I just noticed L’Oreal came out with a new one-day color spray product.  You can spray pink or purple in your hair and it will wash out after one shampoo!  So if you don’t like it or feel foolish, one hair wash and it’s gone.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL:  So do it!

Well, I’m still kind of afraid, so…

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: You want me to do it.

Pleeeease????

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Actually, I could use a change.

I’ll tell you what.  I’ll just do your bangs.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Deal.

Here I go…

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Wow!!!! You look amazing!!!!

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Thanks. You know what?  I love it!  This is really uplifting and fun!

It was fun for me to spray you, too!  Like when we used to play barber, but better. Because this time you actually look good.

Did you notice you got some on my dress?

Oh. I’m sorry.  I’ll wash it.

CHATTY CATHY DOLL: Now spray some pink in YOUR hair.

Um…I’m still afraid. I don’t know…Should I do it???

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Who still plays with their old toys?  Come on.  You can say it.

CONVERSATION WITH…The End.

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I came to an Amusement Park with a Horror House.  I went inside, but instead of encountering a ghost or skeleton, I came across something much more frightening: the word “The End.”  Of course, I had to begin a conversation…

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Uh, so, you’re “the end?”

THE END:  Yes.  But I’m a complete failure. I hate my life.

What?

THE END: You know, I think maybe I was a really horrible person in another life, so I came back as the word “the end.”  Everyone hates me. It’s ongoing torture.

I can see how people wouldn’t like the sight of you because you represent “the end” of a great book…or “the end” of a fantastic movie.

THE END: Not to mention, “the end” of a vacation, “the end” of a romantic date, “the end” of an era…

But that’s assuming all those experiences are good ones.  If you’re “the end” of a bad movie, everyone will welcome you.  If you’re “the end” of a terrible vacation, people will be happy you show up.  Know what I mean?

THE END: Yes. But no matter what, I represent change.  Transition.  People are always intimidated by me. It’s so horrible.

Listen, in my older age, I’ve given a lot of thought to the meaning of “the end.”  One thing that seems to be true is, when something ends, something else always begins. So it’s not like “the end” represents total nothingness.

THE END: You mean, like…when a beautiful day ends, a starry night begins?

Yes. Or…when a pregnancy ends, a child enters the world.  When a caterpillar’s stage of life ends, its life as a butterfly begins. When the rain ends, the sun comes out.  When  you come to “the end” of a beautiful hiking trail, you might be at the top of an amazing mountain.  

THE END: Or…when graduation ends, you get to have a party.

Something like that.

THE END: Okay, but let’s stop beating around the bush. Let’s get to what’s most frightening about “the end.”

Which is?

THE END: Death.  What happens after you die?  No one knows if that’s “the end.” And since I’m so incompetent, I can’t answer that either.

Maybe we can look at it this way… When something ends, something new always begins.  So why would death be the one and only exception?

THE END:  I don’t know.

And,…when we pass on, others remember us.  Thoughts and messages we share seem to live on with those who are still on the earth.  In that way, we don’t end.

THE END: Hmmm…

So, maybe the answer is…as long as we’re fortunate enough to be here, we can just go on trying to make the world a better place.  We can keep searching for ways to make our lives meaningful to others.

THE END: You’re pretty good at this.  Do you want to switch places?  I’ll be a human and you be “the end?”

No thank you. But I’m glad we had this conversation. Are you feeling a little better?

THE END: Yes.  I mean, no.

No? Why not?

THE END: Because, once again, “the end” is coming.

“The end” of what?

THE END: The end of this post!!!!!  We have nothing else to say to each other, so it’s over!  “The End!”  Oh!  I hate my life!!!!

Hang on. Maybe the post is ending, but the comment section is beginning.

THE END: So?

So maybe others who are reading this post will have something to say.  Or maybe they’ll click the “like” button. In that way, a new part of this post is beginning.

THE END: But what if no one comments?  Then it will really be “the end!”  What if everyone forgets?  Or what if everybody hated the post?  Or what if they’re too busy to write a comment?  Or what if they can’t think of anything to say?  Or what if….

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Dear Blogger friends, please write SOMETHING in the comment box or click the “like” button.  Save my sanity!     🙂                            —Cathi  

 

CONVERSATION WITH…An Elderly Shark…Reflecting on the shark inside her

On a hot day Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I decided to go for a swim in the ocean.  Suddenly, a shark swam over!   Aaaah!!!!!

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Shark! Don’t eat me!  I’m older!  But I’m too young to die!

SHARK:  Calm down. I have no intention of eating you.

I thought sharks ate people.

SHARK: If you confuse us, we’ll take a nibble.  Otherwise, we prefer other delicacies.  Just don’t confuse me.

 I won’t confuse you.

SHARK: But I should tell you, I do have one other eating related issue. Many years ago, I ate another shark.  I mean, some sharks do eat other sharks, but that doesn’t make it right.  I feel bad knowing I have a shark inside me.  I still have nightmares about it.

If it makes you feel better, I have a shark inside me, too.

SHARK:  Should I be swimming away from you?

No. Not that kind of shark.  It’s a metaphor for a really aggressive side of myself. But it’s strange.  I’ve noticed as I grow older, I don’t feel the shark inside me as much as I used to.  I don’t know what’s happening to me.  Am I settling for less?  Am I depressed?

SHARK:  I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

Well, when I was younger, if there was a job opportunity I was passionate about, or I had a creative goal that meant the world to me, I felt a “shark” inside me that drove me toward what I wanted with incredible force. 

SHARK: Ooooh.

And when that “shark” inside me took over, I didn’t hurt anyone physically, but I might have hurt others emotionally along the way without realizing it.  I was so focused on what I was going for, I’m not sure I was completely aware of my behavior.

SHARK: Ugh. What about now?

Now I feel more like a tuna fish. When I’m passionate about something I want to do, I meander steadily toward it, but I look from side to side and take in what’s around me.  If something doesn’t feel quite right or off balance, I stop, think about it, and make changes till I’m in sync with the universe.

SHARK:  If you don’t mind that I’m adding my two cents, it sounds like what you’re doing now might make you feel more grounded. And when you get where you’re going, you’ll arrive with perspective and wisdom.

Is it possible this is actually a good thing about growing older?

SHARK: Who knew?

Oh wow!  Thank you so much for your help!

SHARK: Hold it! What about me?  I still feel bad about eating that shark years ago. Any words of wisdom to help me through it?

Well…on one hand, I guess you shouldn’t have done that. On the other hand, lots of sharks have eaten other sharks, so it probably felt like a natural thing to do.  On the other hand, at that time, there were probably other things to eat in the ocean, so choosing that shark was a bad idea. On the other hand, sometimes we have to learn from our mistakes.  On the other hand–

SHARK:  Aaaah!  You’re confusing me!  I told you not to confuse me!

 I’m outa here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Do you have a shark?  How’s it doing?

CONVERSATION WITH…THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST…Her New Year’s Resolution: Letting go of her water phobia later in life.

This is an older post, but I feel we can all benefit from the witch’s words. At the very least, she’s entitled to speak her peace as 2018 begins,  Here goes…

On sunny days, the Wicked Witch of the West is seen a lot here on the Yellow Brick Road.  She has a neurotic side.  It’s obvious she has severe water pobia, but she’s not completely crazy.  If water splashes on her, she’ll melt.  Here, as a new year begins, she agrees to talk to me about her efforts to finally let go of her lifelong fear.

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Wicked Witch, what’s inspiring you to try to end your fear of water after all these years?

WW:  Fear of being touched by water has prevented me from experiencing so much in life!  It’s strangling me! I finally want to be free of it!!!!  It’s time!

Yeah!  Water avoidance must make your life a total wreck!

WW:  To sum it up,  I can’t take showers or baths, can’t go swimming, can’t go to the beach. When I cook, I can’t spill water on myself or wash the dishes, so I always pick up take-out. And the obvious one, I can’t go out in the rain.

I definitely understand your feelings.  I’m phobic too. I can’t stand being in elevators, planes, tunnels, total darkness…to name a few.  And I can’t stand getting MRI’s.

WW: That’s the only reason I agreed to talk to you.

Thank you.  But in your case, you have a real reason for being water phobic.  You could die if it touches you.  Has something extreme happened in your life recently that has changed your perspective and made you less afraid?

WW:  Here’s the thing. My sister died.  You know, she was just walking around Oz, minding her own business, when a house came down from the sky, dropped on top of her, and killed her. That blew my mind, and now I see we’re all out of control in the universe and never know what the next moment will bring.  Why not take chances?

So how are you gonna change?

WW:  I’m going out in the rain.

Wow! But if water splashes on you, you’re still as likely to melt as you were before.

WW: That’s why I’ll wear a wet suit, scuba mask, flippers, a rain slicker, a rain hat, rubber gloves, and carry an umbrella.

I see you’re taking it in small steps.

WW:  Exactly.

Well, I admire your courage and I wish you the best of luck in the new year.  Also I appreciate that you haven’t ordered winged monkeys to tear me apart.

WW: The day isn’t over.

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What are you willing to let go of in the new year?

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CONVERSATION WITH…A NOSE…FEARING LIFE WITHOUT BEING BLESSED

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed an elderly nose limping along with a suitcase.  I caught up with her and started a conversation.

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Hey nose, where are you going?

NOSE: I’m outa here. I’m leaving Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road. I need to move on. I don’t know what else is out there for me, but I need to find it. If not now, when?  But…I’m scared.

Scared about what?

NOSE:  About not being blessed.

Huh?

NOSE: Here’s the thing. I’ve always been around others who know me. They bless me every time I sneeze.  I’ve had so much emotional support in my life Every time I sneeze, someone says “Bless you!” And when I’m stuffed, I hear, “Bless you! Bless you! Bless you! Bless you!” Constantly! I’ve become dependent on it.

I can see how that could happen.

NOSE: But! You know when NO ONE blesses me?  When I’m in a place where I don’t know anybody!  Like, let’s say I’m on a random bus or train, or in an elevator. If I sneeze, no one blesses me because they don’t know me! Or…if I sneeze and people do say “bless you,” they mumble it awkwardly, like they’re not sure if they should have said it in the first place.  I know that’s gonna happen again and again and again if I’m not with others I know!  I won’t be blessed!

Maybe you should trust the silence. And trust your instincts even if you’re not feeling supported or blessed. 

NOSE: What makes you so sure about all this stuff?

Because I’m going through the same thing, but I’m one step ahead of you.  As I’m growing older, when I want to try something new, I’m finding I don’t care as much if other people don’t “bless” what I’m doing or approve of it. Maybe it’s just something that happens with age.

NOSE: You think so?

Maybe. I mean, these days, if someone doesn’t like something I’ve written, or painted, or what I’m wearing, I listen to what that person has to say. But then, I think to myself, “Maybe there’s no right or wrong answer here. Maybe we’re just two different people in two different ‘places’ in the universe at the moment. Our perspectives are different, but there’s room for both in the world.”

NOSE:  I see your point.

If I feel centered in what I’m doing, I’m not as afraid.

NOSE: You must be in therapy.

You know? Maybe you and I are blessed in a different way.

NOSE: How?

Maybe we’re blessed that we have the freedom, time and health to go out in the world and experience it differently.  It’s a privilege.  It’s a different kind of blessing.

NOSE: I can get into that.  Thanks for the suggestion.

You’re very welcome.

NOSE: Haaa-chooooo!

Should I say it?

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How are you blessed?