CONVERSATION WITH…A Claustrophobic Caterpillar…Trying To Cope With Inevitable Changes

As I climbed Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, suddenly I heard a small voice screaming from below! I looked down and realized I’d almost stepped on a panic stricken caterpillar.  I had to apologize!

IMG_1667

Caterpillar!  I’m so sorry!

CATERPILLAR: You almost gave me a heart attack!

I didn’t see you there!

CATERPILLAR: That’s what they all say.

Seriously!  Are you okay?

CATERPILLAR: As okay as I’m gonna get right now.  I’ve got bigger problems.

Like what?

CATERPILLAR: Like, I’ve been putting off going in a cocoon until the last possible minute. I’m claustrophobic.  But now the time has come.

I feel your pain. I’m claustrophobic, too.

CATERPILLAR: Really?

Yeah. I don’t do elevators, tunnels, airplanes, MRIs…whenever I can avoid them.

CATERPILLAR: Well I can’t avoid going in my cocoon anymore.  I’m exhausted all the time.  I’m always starving and stuffing my face with leaves.  I’m not the caterpillar I used to be. Every part of my body is telling me this part of my life is over.

 So, before you go in your cocoon, why don’t you take a Xanax?  Or have a glass of wine?  I have a glass when I take short plane flights. It takes the edge off for a few hours. 

CATERPILLAR: We’re not talking hours here, we’re talking weeks.

Well, at least you only have to go in your cocoon one time.  Then it’s over! And you’ll be able to fly!  Don’t you want to fly?

CATERPILLAR: No.  I love crawling.  I don’t want to give up my feet.

I hear ya. 

CATERIPLLAR: And I don’t want this part of my life to be over.

I know!!!!  I have two kids and I loved bringing them up.  But they’ve grown up and just left home.  I don’t want this part of my life to be over either.

CATERPILLAR: We’re soulmates.

Yes. But it seems the universe is pushing us to move on. We have no choice.

CATERPILLAR: Yup. I have to fly.

I have to fly, too.   I mean, my daughter lives far away now. If I’m able to get myself to sit in a plane for five hours, I can visit her a lot.  And if I’m able to fly even longer, I can see so many parts of the world. I’d like that.

CATERPILLAR: Maybe flying will open new doors for me too. Maybe I’m part of something bigger that I can’t see. So, I guess I’ll take you up on that bottle of wine.

I said a GLASS…

IMG_1670

THE FOLLOW UP:

Weeks later, the caterpillar came out of her cocoon! Though she had a major hangover…

IMG_1662

…after a few hours she was able to fly in a straight line.  And me?  Well, since I’m still Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, when I click my heels together I can visit my daughter in a flash. It works for now.  But…if you’re a bad flyer too, I’d love to hear from you.  What do you do on a plane to avoid jumping out of your skin?

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

CONVERSATION WITH…The Cow Who Jumped over the Moon…Dreaming of Overcoming Her Overactive Bladder

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 12.38.43 PM

Recently, I met up with a highly successful athlete and super mom, The Cow Who Jumped over the Moon.   She was coming in for a landing on the Yellow Brick Road and was kind enough to chat.

Cow, it’s a real privilege meeting you.

COW:  Oh thank you.

So, you’ve definitely made your mark.  I mean, every night, jumping from your barn all the way over the moon and back to your barn has inspired cows throughout the world. What does it take to keep this up every night?

COW:  An overly ridiculous amount of drive.

I hear ya. But I have to admit,  I’ve heard rumors that after a very long career, you have an age- related issue that might bring your moon jumping days to an end. What’s going on?

COW:  Can I be frank?

Of course.

COW:  After giving birth and years of wear and tear, I find I need to pee all the time. Holding it in during my jump around the moon and back has become unbearable.

You’re not alone with that problem. But if you stop jumping over the moon, it will be the end of an era!

COW:  I know! And I don’t want to stop!  My work defines me.

I feel your pain. My work defines me, too.  But in your case, do you think this might be an opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been in your life and where you’re going? 

COW:  OMG. That sounds so depressing.

I’m just saying, you seem to be pretty intense and focused. Maybe let the lighter side of yourself come out and see where it takes you?

COW:  You mean, redirect my Type A personality toward something that makes me less crazy?

Something like that.

COW:  Hmmm…Well…I suppose at this point in my life, when I jump over the moon, I don’t have to land directly in my barn right away.  I mean, what’s my rush? My calf is a teen and doesn’t want me around all the time.  If I have to pee, I can crash land someplace else on the way home.

You mean, like, randomly crash land in Italy?

Why not?  I could find a Ladies Room there. Have a nice pasta dinner.  And if I’ve had too much wine to jump back the rest of the way to my barn, I’ll take a train or a bus home.

Awesome idea!  Every night you could crash land in a different city.  

COW:  I’ve always wanted to see Pittsburgh.

And any time you need to make an emergency landing, you can always stop at my house.

COW:  Really?  You would do that for me??

Of course!  Your  passion to see the world will inspire me to move my rear out the door.  I think you should go for it!

COW: Easy for you to say.

I know.  I won’t even get on a plane.

COW: But I think I will try the crash landing gig.   I just hope all those landings don’t mess up my knees.

The world will be watching.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 1.17.41 PM.png

As the cow considers crash landing near restrooms around the world, please share your travel tips or recommended destinations.

CopyrightOverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2017

CONVERSATION WITH…a dandelion freaking out about turning gray (Part 1)

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 12.09.32 PM.png

Traveling beside a flower garden on the Yellow Brick Road, I noticed a dandelion in emotional pain.

Excuse me, Dandelion… I know we’ve never met and this might be none of my business, but…. can I help you?

DANDELION:  I don’t know what to do with myself!  The best days of my life are over!

Why do you say that?

DANDELION: Look at me.  I’m gray. I look like a walking rat’s nest.  And look at the rest of the flowers around me.  Pink, orange, purple, blue, and they all have their petals. Why is this happening to ME? Why am I the one who has to go through this?  I feel so alone.

I’m not an expert, but there might be a bigger picture that you can’t see.

DANDELION:  I doubt it.  It feels like everything’s against me. Even the freakin’ wind.   It keeps blowing my gray strands all over the lawn.

Maybe you just have to ride with the universe and see what happens. Maybe you have a different rhythm than the other flowers.

DANDELION:  You’re not helping.

Seriously, I understand your thing about being gray.  I color my hair.  But I believe there are periods of darkness we have to plow through, and eventually there’s an end to them. It seems like it’s part of some kind of balance in the universe.

DANDELION:  I’ll say one thing. If there’s some kind of end to my despair and loneliness, it will be a miracle.

Do you mind if I come back in a while and see how you’re doing?

DANDELION:  Your choice.

CONVERSATION WITH…a Dandelion turning gray     Part 2

 

image

I’m back with the Dandelion who’s gray.

DANDELION: Now I’m bald.  But I have to admit, my loneliness ended.  I never thought it would happen.

Awesome!!!  What’s been going on??

DANDELION: This is gonna sound completely weird. But…when the wind blew my gray strands all over the lawn, they settled under the ground. Then they grew and came up.  So now I have children. Look at all my beautiful kids!

image

DANDELION: It’s a miracle.

©Overthehillontheyellowbrickroad2017

CONVERSATION WITH… a squirrel struggling with her “new normal.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 11.31.27 AM.png

Traveling past a park on the Yellow Brick Road, I saw a squirrel scampering around who looked completely confused.  I rushed over.

Hey Squirrel,  are you lost?  Do you need directions?

SQUIRREL: No.  I need food. I’m so hungry.

So why not get something to eat?

SQUIRREL: I can’t. I buried my acorns under the ground, and I can’t remember where I put them.

Ooooh.  In a weird way, I can relate. When I park my car at the mall, when I come out, sometimes I can’t remember where I left it.

SQUIRREL: So?

So every time I park, I have to make a mental note of where I am.  And if I’m somewhere new, I actually write down the name of the street and cross street.

SQUIRREL: No offense, but I don’t think that’s a fair comparison.  I mean, you just have to find your car.  I can starve to death.  I’m really scared.

Can you make a trail of footprints or pebbles that lead to where you buried your acorns?

SQUIRREL:  That makes me nervous. What if I forget where I made the trail?

How about if you ask someone to remind you where you buried the acorns?

SQUIRREL: Then I’d have to ask for help!  My kids have their own lives!  I don’t want to bother them with this!  It’s humiliating.   I can’t face it! I’m an independent squirrel.  Always have been.

I guess you don’t want to do anything about it?

SQUIRREL:  My therapist says this is my “new normal” and I need to deal with my body differently because I’m older.

I’m going through that with my therapist, too. Here’s my“new normal.”  I try really hard to eat healthy foods and stay at a reasonable weight.  But every time I eat the slightest thing that’s junky, I put on weight.  I never used to be that way.  I guess it is what it is.

SQUIRREL:  That’s tough.

It is what it is.

SQUIRREL:  You said that already.

Oh yeah.  I forgot.

SQUIRREL: At least I remembered something.

copyrightOverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2017

_____________________________________________________