Weekly Prompts-ClocktheTime 11/23/19

Fair warning (as I have stated before about my blog…I share happy stories AND painful stories), as of this writing, this post has no happy ending.

 

Clock the Time

Perfect for me this week. And I hate it!!

I’m in the middle of the longest, most frightening period of time I have experienced in my 71 years of life. In reality, it’s only been about 7 days so far, but for most of the last week, time has “stood still”, you know, the way it can sometimes when it loses all meaning! But in the moments when relevance has slipped back in…hmm, it’s been 13 hours since I’ve eaten anything…the time passing has seemed like an eternity.

I’m having one hell of a time Choosing My Perspective!

It’s been a little like attending a childbirth…where the only important clocking of time is tracking the number of minutes between contractions, or the more important clocking the time issue, the number of hours of labor so far. I’ve attended so many births and in the latter example, I would be vaguely aware of crossing that somewhat subjective line, mostly determined by the Doc or Midwife. It happens when a labor goes from what will later make a good story-I was in labor for 16 and 1/2 hours to the…Uh-oh, this is taking way too long moment. I know that look, that Uh-Oh facial expression on the face of the person there to “catch” that baby…

All the waiting this week has also triggered some deep, internal philosophical debates about the passing of time and the theory about feelings/emotions I have always taught my clients.

My basic premise has always been what I learned early in my training and education as a Psychotherapist.

-Emotions are basically biological…a physiological response to some perceived trigger, real or not.

-Feelings are not right or wrong. They just ARE!

-We can’t control a feeling response…only what we do with it…what we conclude from it and how we express it.

-Ignoring feelings completely is not good for us. They are going to need expression eventually…and the longer we wait, the more messy, and out of proportion they can become.

So this week, I have been trying to practice what I preach. But I’ve gone completely blank.

I had an experience of this kind of Clocking Time a few years ago. It challenged my beliefs about if, how, or when to express feelings. In a routine physical, an enthusiastic young Doctor decided that I had what looked like a life-threatening disease. Melanoma. She concluded that it had probably already metastasized. The biopsies to confirm this would take 48 hours.

A long couple of days, huh? I did not want to give myself over to the looming panic, but I also did not want to ignore the waves of feelings that were coming up, threatening to wash over me tsunami-style. What a balancing act that was! Luckily, I also knew to trust my gut, and the hard-earned knowledge I had of my own body.

My gut didn’t believe it, so I “waited” as that clock ticked fairly calmly. And it turned out to be, of all things, just an “age spot”!

During that eternity, on the clock just 48 hours, time had very little meaning. But a lot of other stuff sure did. Moral, ethical, philosophical debates raged in my head and heart.

Should I tell my family? Don’t they deserve to know?

Hell NO! There’s nothing to tell yet?

Yes but I always do scary things like this alone and never ask for support. Shouldn’t I reach out?

For what? You don’t know anything yet. Just wait!

Ya but I KNOW how PTSD works. The sooner someone who has been through a trauma can feel the resulting emotions, the better.

Yes but, has there actually been a trauma? You don’t know yet.

I think I was able to survive that two days of time standing still because of that little internal voice that was whispering to me that I was fine. When my gut reaction was confirmed, I could feel a huge relief and then use that to turn the whole thing into just an anecdote. Thank goodness, I also knew to get some “there, there” from my closest people. Turned out it was not a death sentence after all, but I still needed empathy for what was a rather a grueling stretch of stopped time!

I know why this current period of Clocking the Time has me in such a state. Fifty some years ago my mother went missing. I knew she was in serious emotional trouble. She had attempted suicide just two years before and this time, I recognized that same dark, dark resignation and resolve the last time I saw her. But because I was only a teenager, no one in authority would listen to me. For three eternal days, I looked for her, more and more frantically as each hour passed.

My gut was right. And I was too late. When they finally found her, she’d been dead for 3 days.

 

Right now, we are 7 days into hoping to hear from (or about) my teenage grandson, who “ran away” in a very dangerous state of mind.

My gut is failing me. Strangely and frustratingly silent.

And it’s been the longest week of my life….

juju-not-feeling-well

 

 

Photo Challenge Clock the Time

Photo a Week Challenge: Timing 8/1/19

I thought I’d better start with a definition so you have a context for my post on Timing this week.
Merriam-Webster, the Oxford dictionary and other sources define “fan” as a shortened version of the word fanatic. Fanatic itself, introduced into English around 1550, means “marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion“.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_(person)
It appears that I am that person to whom they are referring…especially when it comes to  the Blue Angels.
I write about them a lot!
They perform in my area every year at the same time and I have been known to plan my whole life around their annual SeaFair visit. I know exactly when to expect them.
See, their initial arrival path is directly over my house….or at least it used to be.
This year, they have moved the “flight safety performance box”, supposedly so the new Light Rail did not have to close down during the Angel’s performances. I assumed that meant I could no longer sit out on my deck, which I have done for most of the last 30 years, to see the bits and pieces of their show that involve the airspace right over my head!
IMG_2717
Anyway, yesterday I had an appointment downtown and figured I wouldn’t miss anything. But guess what! On my way home, a 21 minute, 10 mile drive, my Angels flew directly over the freeway SEVEN TIMES!!! Talk about TIMING!! (On the Thursday of their 4 day visit to the Northwest, they scout and practice for the show they will do over the weekend.)
That timing would have made for spectacular photos, but of course, I was driving so couldn’t (wouldn’t) be snapping away with my phone camera.
My connection to the Blue Angels started when I was a very young child, small enough to still sit up on my Daddy’s shoulders. He would take me to see them practice. The Blue Angels are inseparable in my heart and mind from my father. For years, as an adult, I would call my Dad so we could be on the phone together for that initial roar of the Angel’s arrival each year!
So the fact that I was barreling down the road, with Blue Angels roaring overhead, on what would have been my Dad’s 102 birthday, had me in tears all the way home.
I arrived home, and even though I knew I had missed all their fly-by’s, I went up on the deck anyway, to finish this new round of grief about my Dad.
Here’s what happened the minute I sat down!!

Needless to say, the timing of this started a whole new round of joyous grieving.

Hi Dad, and thanks for the visit!

More posts on the Blue Angels:

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/08/04/blue-angels-time-again/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/01/19/silence-for-wpc-1-17-18/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/10/11/wordlesswednesday-10-11-17/

The stuff these challenges bring up for me is amazing!! Thanks again Nancy!! 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/a-photo-a-week-challenge-timing-is-everything/

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/a-photo-a-week-challenge-timing-is-everything/

A Photo a Week Challenge–Endings

Wow, tough theme.

I knew the exact photo immediately, but I keep this particular one hidden from myself, so I had to search through my files. It’s been almost four years and I still grieve a little every day.

They went from this…

 

to this

IMG_7323 (1)

IMG_6285

 

And this is the last photo of them as a family…

20150626_165747

 

sigh…….

 

PS In case it would be of support to anyone reading this, here is what we use in therapy to help folks walk thorough Endings, in the healthiest way possible. Handy to use for closure in any and all Endings, big or small…job, moving, school, relationships, pets, favorite restaurant closing, new phone, etc.

 

Endings

 

Resistance

This is worth exploring and expressing in all its forms…denial, wishful thinking, false hopes, etc.

 

Resentment

It takes some practice but being able to express a truly personalized resentment, without any finger pointing or blame toward another, is a valuable, life-long skill 

 

Regret

It’s important to acknowledge the things you wish you could have done differently

 

Reminiscence

Remembering the good times is the natural pathway to the 3 stages below. It is why we tell funny stories at funerals.

 

Release and Relief

There is always a whoosh of peace after wading through the painful parts of grieving an ending

 

Rejoice

Now true gratitude can happen, for the whole experience, even the hard lessons that usually come from an ending.

 

Re-Union

To be able to re-unite after an ending, even if just in your mind, without a bunch of leftover baggage, is really and truly possible.

 

These are the natural stages of all endings.

In order to have healthy beginnings, with no leftovers lingering to muddy the new waters, these phases must be experienced and honored…

not necessarily in this order, but finishing the first four

makes the last three much more accessible.

 

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/a-photo-a-week-challenge-endings/

My Dog, Zorro; Part Two

This was published today on Katzenworld, one of my favorite Cat Sites!!!

So honored they posted it and though I still miss my cat every day, it helps to have others read about him, and comment!

https://katzenworld.co.uk/2019/02/10/my-dog-zorro-part-2/

 

 

Here’s Part One, in case you missed it.

https://katzenworld.co.uk/2019/01/27/my-dog-zorro-part-1/