Sunday, January 06, 2013

New Eyes

OK two things...for some reason I can not load images...blogger is farting or something
and I ramble a little but, I think in the end I make a point.

So it is the new year, I still haven't sent our holiday cards...or thank you cards...
I am working on the later a lot more than the holiday ones.
I think I am sifting through the emotions and feelings of what it really means to have stage four endometriosis and be a family of two. There have been moments in the past week or so when I get this real "real" moment. You know those moments, when you realize that one day you will die,
and all you have is now.
I get those enlightened moments often...I remember the first one was when I was walking alone on the beach with my family, I was in Junior High school and it hit me that I was not going to live forever, that one day I was going to cease. It scared the shit out of me and I think most of that night I spent terrified in bed, hiding under my covers trying to soothe myself back into that lull of everyday living.
This new year has been waves of those moments.
The "wait! Can I get a do-over? I really wanted this or that to happen when I was much younger"
and "I don't have time for this bullshit, I am moving the next great thing."
I got the Barren a gift certificate to the local museum to see the space shuttle, I have found that no matter his mood, this man has a gitty boy inside that explodes with glee and light when around space ships, airplanes and all things science. I wanted him to fill that reserve, so we went today. I am not a huge space and engine sort of gal but it was interesting, really wild and it kept my attention and lit some curious questions.
This same museum also has an ecosystems permanent exhibit. One of them was the kelp forest: I became that little girl, totally hypnotized and quiet. Standing before the floor to ceiling seawater tanks, watching sharks and schools of flickering fish, eels hissing from rocks and kelp swaying in sunlight.
Whenever I get that panic of "I'm not going live forever" I think of floating under the sea, being carried by the waves and swimming with the turtles and fish and it calms me.
This museum was filled with children, but in all honesty I don't remember any of them. I was not distracted by watching them, or caught dreaming about having them. There was a moment when I heard a child screaming from one of the far off exhibits and I turned to the Barren and mimicked the screaming child but instead of frustration, I had made it into a battle heck ya, I am awesome! I turned it into something that was funny to me, it made him laugh and it made something that normally upset us into something about us and no one else.
 I spent the night watching documentaries and eating leftover Italian food on the couch. One of the films was about measuring happiness. It was an interesting film...there were a few points that I found personally interesting from all the psychologists that were interviewed:
1. tragic events often allow people to become happier
(the example they had was a woman who literally lost her face in an accident and she explained how letting go of the friends that couldn't handle her injury allowed her to free herself.)
2. people have a baseline level of contentment...that accounts for 50% of your measured level.
Another, 10% comes from external measures, like work and status etc...
and then we have 40% of which we control with actions!
AMAZING...almost half our own happiness is based on internal choices.
3. the most rewarding "food source" to that internal choice was acts of kindness....
helping others, as simple as that! Not huge acts like funding a school or sponsoring a research project.
Something like, helping someone carry something. Telling someone they look nice, bringing dinner to a friend who is sick. Little acts make up a HUGE part of our happiness.

It made me feel like I was building in the right direction: love bombs, food to friends, planting flowers for neighbors...I am building my own happiness. I can have power of things that make my life what it will be now. Today these concepts sounds huge and bright and hopeful. I drank a little too much at New Years, but I was telling 2012 to get the hell away from me she was quite a little bitch. 2013, I have plans for you, and it involves a lot more happiness for myself and my life and our future.
Today I am not going to die and tomorrow is not a good day either!



LaLa said...

I've been having that awareness of my own mortality quite a bit lately. There's a bit of panic, but mostly it is just sadness over the things I didn't do when I was younger that would have changed the course of my life, and regret over the fact that nothing I do has any sense of permanence for the future.

Sounds like the museum was fun! I love aquariums - there is something so peaceful and zen-like about being surrounded with tanks of water and watching the fish swim and the foliage sway in the currents.

Mali said...

I love those points about happiness. I think I've read it/heard it before, but it is a good reminder. I can certainly vouch for most of these. A major part of my healing was helping others.

Jen said...

Wow - me too on the mortality theme. Is there something in the air at the moment? Maybe all that 'end of the world' garbage has left us reflective... I don't know. But in the meantime, there's so many good things for us to do! Like eating leftover Italian food while watching inspiring films.

The battle cry moment cracked me up - I've found myself doing this recently in front of my guy and both of us getting a laugh. Certainly not where we were even a few months ago!

Rambling now - but I really loved this post - and yes, I do like that we can control 40% of our contentment with action (cue: battle cry!!)

Nicole said...

Ah, I understand so much of this so well. The mortality issue - I write about that frequently... I understand the weight of it.

It is interesting how after a major medical problem there is so much mental recovery. I feel we only ever plan for or discuss in our society the physical recovery. But the mental is a big part. I too had a hard time around the end of the year due to my hysterectomy anniversary.

I find those happiness studies fascinating. I think we are in control of more than we often realize. And I love your take on being in a museum full of children. So lovely!

Hugs to you and I hope 2013 shapes up well for you!