Sipping Without My Ace of Spades

I have a natural tendency to look on the bright side of life (whistle…) Twenty two years ago, this very week, I gave birth to my baby girl. When my boyfriend and I found out I was pregnant, in college, it was overwhelming and there were many tears. However, not even a week after we had the confirmation, and the adamant choice to continue with the pregnancy, we found the positives. We were sitting on the floor of the university library, he leaning on the wall, and I nestled in front on him, his arms around my still-flat belly. Suddenly one of us realized, “We get to name it!” And we both smiled mischievously, and the fun side of parental responsibility came to fore. We joked around for a bit, but soon enough he said her name, and we both knew it was the one. Find the happy.

But 2017 was a tough one.

First of all, it’s none of your business, and second, of COURSE I didn’t vote for him!

As was evident in my previous post, I finally embraced anger and despair. This was good. Good for me. “Don’t hold things in or they will turn into cancer,” was one of my grandma’s dying words. (The other was a full on swearing session to Stephen King because he wouldn’t finish the damn Dark Tower series before she died. Steve, if you’ve been haunted by a Sicilian ghost, now you know why.) I keep things in. There’s some good reasons in my past for this, but that survival strategy no longer serves me. I know, I know, I know that Cushing’s was caused by a growth on my adrenal gland. But when I first found out the news and needed a surgery, I talked with my young nieces about it. My eight year old asked, “But Aunt Becca, will it grow again?” Although I could honestly tell her that the whole gland was coming out so no, the fear that another could grow on my remaining gland is there. The question to myself is, “how did it grow in the first place?” Like my grandmother’s firm belief that some secrets caused her ultimate demise, I’m searching for how I can alter my life to keep another growth from forming.

Yeah, yeah, meditation. I know. I do that already.

I started 2018 with a guided meditation on letting go of the past year and setting positive goals for the future. In the beginning of my previous post, I stated that my memory of the past year was filled with a cloud of despair. I know it is a human tendency to focus on the negative; it’s a survival mechanism. But it’s not me. I’m the whistler on the cross, remember? Thinking back to my view of 2017 was like an image I recalled from biology class that showed what our body parts were in proportion to how touch sensitive they were. It’s a freaky image.

Certain events and feelings totally out-sized others. There were plenty of moments of joy and fun and love and laughter last year with my students, family and friends. Yet the anger and sadness clouded my recollection. It’s healthy to acknowledge the full range of emotions, but then I need to let them go. Writing the post, publicly throwing my heart out there, was healing. 
In the beginning of that new year meditation, I was guided to breathe in all the negative emotions of the past year. The guide took some time to do this with multiple, slow breaths to really imagine the people and situations that hurt us, blowing them out into a mental white balloon and then letting it float up into the stratosphere to pop and scatter into the basic elements of life. Woo-woo, whatever, it was a good image. I went through a LOT of balloons. 
Next was to imagine ourselves at the end of this new year having successfully completed a goal, intensely feeling that moment. I set the first goal that came to mind and held a published book in my hands. The positive emotions were heady. Quick, the guide said, pick an image that coincided with those emotions. I saw this:
Finally, we were supposed to make the image and carry it around in our pocket all year as a dedication to the goal. I went to our basement and found a deck that had some cards already missing, but the ace of spades was missing too. Why did we even have this deck? I threw it out. Then found a new deck that I didn’t like the colors as much and found the ace of spades to use as my pocket friend. I think I had it four days before losing it on errands. If you find it at the Co-op, keep it for good luck, ok?
Alas, I’d have to ruin another deck of cards to keep up my image mantra thing. Can’t do it. Too much of a gamer. I wish my mind had chosen a cup of steaming tea as the image, then I could just make it come true everyday. A Tulsi-Rose from Underground Alchemy was perfect during our frigid days (and more to come.) I’ll keep sipping as my back-up. Tea. Ahh… What was I saying? 
Life of Brian, Teen Pregnancy, Sicilian Ghost, Sensory Homunculus, losing my Ace of Spades. In 2018 I shall embrace my more healthy well-rounded emotions while still enjoying my tea. And reading books. And playing Mad-Libs. An awesome friend and I do Mad-Libs through texting, and then meet up and read them out loud together for good laughs. I’ve actually been doing this while writing the post. We both needed an adjective. I typed “caffeinated”, and she offered, “pumped-up.” A fine way to begin the new year.

Rise untethered.
Move with intention.
Be grand.  

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