Conversation with…My Book…resisting physical changes in older age

Traveling Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I’ve had conversations with lots of weird people and things while passing through the Neighborhood of the Empty Nesters, the Avenue of Ages and Stages, climbing over Makover Mountain, visiting the Career Change Cafe, and looking back on my life in Reflecting Ridge. So…I put all those conversations together in a book, along with a story that ties everything together. Here it is! The only problem is, my book is being a hypochondriac.  While I was setting up links to Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com, my book screamed at me: 

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BOOK: Ah!!!! Don’t make me travel across the internet!

Why not?

BOOK: Because I’m filled with conversations about growing older. I feel really fragile and responsible. If something happens to me on the way to Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com, I’ll never forgive myself.

What can happen?

BOOK: If someone clicks on me, it could really hurt. I could end up with internal bruises that will take forever to heal.

I understand what you mean. Whenever I stub my toe, I’m afraid I’ve broken my pinky bone. Or if I reach for something and feel a pain in my back, I worry I’ve torn a muscle.

BOOK: And that’s not the worst of it. What if someone clicks on me, and then, as I’m on my way traveling to Amazon.com I pick up some kind of internet disease?  Something with strange chemicals. I don’t want to get sick.

I know what you mean. I don’t like flying in my older age because I’m afraid I’ll contract a disease. And I don’t like visiting foreign countries because I fear I’ll come down with a virus and I’ll be too old to fight it off.

BOOK: So, if you understand my feelings, why do you want people to click on me? Why are you torturing me by sending me across the internet?

Because, as a book, you carry a lot of wonderful conversations along with a story.  My virtual friends might want to give a copy of you to someone special as a birthday gift, a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift, an anniversary present, a Christmas or Chanukah present, or someone just might want to have a copy for herself or himself. Maybe they’ll even write a nice review. And–

BOOK:  Alright. I can’t argue with you. How much clicking is involved?

Well, if you go to Amazon.com and click on the Kindle edition, you can see the introduction and first few conversations in the book.  And if you click on the paperback version, you can see a book description. And–

BOOK: Stop! That’s too much clicking.

Oh come on.

BOOK: Okay. I’ll do it for you.

I appreciate it! Virtual friends, I hope you’ll take a look at my new book. And if you need to click on the book cover, please do it gently.

BOOK: Thank you for your consideration.

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Conversation with…A Lilac…about being young and old at the same time

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, in early May, I saw a lilac growing beside a tree. Lilacs are my favorite flower ever! I cherish the time they’re here! So I rushed over to it. But I noticed the lilac looked confused and distraught. I asked:

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Hey lilac, what’s the matter?

LILAC: I can’t tell you.

Oh. Okay.

LILAC: It’s too upsetting.

Alright. I won’t ask.

LILAC: It has to do with my age.

Believe it or not, I’ll understand. What’s bothering you?

LILAC: I can’t tell you.

But you just started to.

LILAC: Forget I said it.

Okay. Fine.

LILAC: The tree next to me just told me I’ll only be in the world for about two weeks. But I just got here. I’m young and getting old at the same time. I’m a freak.

Well, for what it’s worth, I’m young and getting old at the same time, too.

LILAC: Really? I think you just look older.

Oh thank you.

LILAC: I didn’t mean to insult you. I was just being honest.

What I was trying to say was, I’m older on the outside but young on the inside. Young at heart.

LILAC: Well then, you must be confused too.

Baffled. 

LILAC: How do you deal with it? How do you stop yourself from obsessing with being older and young at the same time?

Well…I think every living creature is born with a gift. You know, some kind of outstanding talent that makes the world a better place. So, no matter how old I get, I focus on my gift and try to find new ways to use it.

LILAC: What’s your gift?

I believe it’s writing. The way I communicate. And I hope somehow, in my writing, just for a moment, I transform others. I hope I can suggest that others see the world a little bit differently through my words.

LILAC: That’s cool.

And people have all kinds of gifts. They make the world a better place through their art, music, photography, dance, recipes, families–

LILAC: I see where you’re going with this. But I’m just a flower. What’s my gift?

Your scent.

LILAC: Really? You mean, all I have to do is sit here and let people smell me?

Yes. And…you can carry on the lilac legacy—for all those lilacs who have been here before and those who will be here after you’re gone.  When you’re no longer here, others will remember your graceful, elegant petals, stunning color and most remarkable scent. You will become part of them.

I’m so neurotic. What about people who aren’t near me now? They won’t be able to smell me.

Just the sight of you will inspire them. Like this amazing illustration of a lilac created by Lisa: https://lismorepaper.com/2018/05/06/lilac-botanical-print/

I never looked better.

And! People can close their eyes and remember a time they experienced a lilac’s scent. 

How?

I’ll show you. Friends who are reading this post, when I count to three, close your eyes and imagine the scent of a lilac. One…two…three…

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What is your gift?

CONVERSATION WITH…The Cheshire Cat from Wonderland…about virtual friendships in older age

Over the Hill on the Yelllow Brick Road, I saw a grinning cat sitting in a tree. A moment later, the cat disappeared. The next moment, he appeared on the top of a bush. Then strangely, his body faded. All that remained was his smile and his eyes. Was it possible he was the Cheshire Cat from the story of Alice in Wonderland? I had to ask!

cheshire cat

Hey—are you—

CHESIRE CAT: Yes I am. The Cheshire Cat.

But, you live in Wonderland. What are you doing here? How did you get Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road?

CHESHIRE CAT: How does anyone ever get anywhere? With great difficulty.

I suppose.

CHESHIRE CAT: But I just had to come. Like the rest of you here, I’m growing older and trying to figure out where I belong in the world. I’m having trouble relating to the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the others the way I used to. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I’m changing. I’m obsessing with my age.

That’s how I ended up Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road. I was looking for friends who understood what I was going through. I wasn’t sure where or how I’d find them, but I felt compelled to look.

CHESHIRE CAT: I’m looking for others, like me, who can appear and disappear in older age.

 Oh. Well, I’m sorry I can’t help you. I don’t do that.

CHESHIRE CAT: Of course you do.

What? How?

CHESHIRE CAT: You’re a blogger. And so are most of the others who are reading my words right now. Your relationships with each other appear and disappear with a tap of an electronic device. As soon as your phones or computers are turned off, you’re gone. And as soon as you return to the internet, you appear.

You know, you’re right—

CHESHIRE CAT: The question is, if your blogger friends are virtual, are they real?

Well, you appear and disappear, and you’re real.

CHESHIRE CAT: Fair point. But how can you be sure?

Because though I can only see your grin and your eyes at the moment, I feel your spirit as you speak. The same is true with my virtual blogging community.

CHESHIRE CAT: Hmmm…Anything else?

Well, when I don’t have access to the internet, I’m sad. I miss my virtual friends.

CHESHIRE CAT: Hmm. Do say more.

Since virtual bloggers and I communicate through posts and comment sections, we say exactly what we want to say, very concisely. No small talk. And we speak from our hearts.

CHESHIRE CAT: Intriguing.

Also- I never worry about the way I look when I communicate with virtual friends. I don’t have to clean my house before I speak to them. I don’t have to make special appointments to get together and then change my schedule around. We appear to each other, and disappear, whenever we’re ready.

CHESHIRE CAT: Increasingly interesting…

And, if I can’t leave home due to health issues or other problems, my virtual community is still there. We communicate the way we always do. So, though I have never met these amazing people in the flesh, they MUST BE REAL.

CHESHIRE CAT: It’s a distinct possibility. In that case…when I return to Wonderland, might I join your virtual community? May I follow your blog?

I would love that.

CHESHIRE CAT: Thank you.

So…I guess you’re saying…you don’t think it’s insane that I call a virtual community of people, who appear and disappear, my friends?

CHESHIRE CAT: Do I think it’s insane? Well…you know what they say in Wonderland. We’re all mad.

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Are you real?

CONVERSATION WITH…A Withering Balloon…Anxious about sudden endings

Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, a withering balloon floated by. It had a clueless expression on its face, so I figured it was new in the area, as I was. I started a conversation.

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Hey balloon, what brings you “Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road?”

WITHERING BALLOON: I drifted here. I’m not sure how I got here, and I’m not sure where I’ll be going next.

You’re not alone. In a very broad sense, the same is true of my existence.

WITHERING BALLOON: Really?

Yes. How did you end up here?

WITHERING BALLOON: Well, I used to work in a Real Estate office. I had a string tied on me, and I was attached to an “Open House” sign. The house was finally sold, so my old, worn, tattered string unraveled and I floated off on my own. Now I’m here trying to figure out where I belong in the world.

Me too.

WITHERING BALLOON: I have to say, I passed a lot of enchanting things on my way to this place. The world is absolutely incredible.

It is.

WITHERING BALLOON: I’ve had a great ride so far.

Me too.

WITHERING BALLOON: I’d like to see more.

Same here.

WITHERING BALLOON: I’d like to keep going and going and going.

So would I.

WITHERING BALLOON: But at any moment, I could pop. And that would be the end.

Well–

WITHERING BALLOON: I mean, I’ve made it this far in life, but how much longer can I possibly go on? At any moment, I could float into a sharp tree branch and burst. Or I could drift into a street lamp and I’d be gone in a flash. Or I could–

I see you’ve given this some thought.

WITHERING BALLOON: I can give you more examples.

No need. I think about it, too.

WITHERING BALLOON: So, what are we supposed to do about it?

Well, the way I see it is…there are two choices. We can continue to enjoy the beautiful ride and take in as much as we can. Or…we can obsess with when it will all be over.

WITHERING BALLOON: I wish I could just enjoy it. But anxiety runs in my family.

Mine too.

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How do you find a balance?

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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…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…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…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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2018

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Do you have a shark?  How’s it doing?

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?

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2017

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How are you blessed?