a sweaty hand and kindness…

when is enough, enough one may ask…when does the feeling of being disappointed ever go away…when does the words of another stop echoing in one’s ears…when does the silence become comforting…when does a experience become a pattern…when is enough, enough one may ask…

it’s a new year with new beginnings and new celebrations and as the days slowly creep towards spring, I’ve been thinking about aging…more specifically how aging changes our bodies, our minds, our souls and our priorities…expectations of aging – phew…never thought I’d be the one who peed a little when I laughed, coughed, or sneezed…never thought my hormones would race like the be’jesus for the majority of each month…never thought I would choose the silence of my home over the music of a restaurant or the smell of booze at a bar…never thought my soul would yearn for essential oils or my priority would be in the form of an animal and a career…

this aging bit got me reminiscing…been looking at old pictures and skimming through my memories…i live in a world that ignites my senses, I mean we all live in the same world but as the years pass I’m developing a knack to ‘experience me’ in slow motion…I start my day laying in bed whispering a prayer, sealing it with a kiss and as I snuggle, I whisper thank you – yes, no joke…I end my day sitting on my bed, crossed legged, lavender oil slathered in my hands and I breath as I chant a mantra slowly in my head – it’s been a few years but the animal still stares at me with a wtf look in his little eyes at this one practice…

it’s a practice that keeps me grounded…well as grounded as I can be…am I grounded enough – I think so…I mean I’m surviving in the best way possible…

a history search on my computer these days reveals my life in words, phrases and questions… horticulture and nature and well being…perimenopause…loose stool in dogs…peeing when coughing…horses…super moon…full moon…moon…insomnia…is it weird to enjoy the smell of a dog’s paws…are essential oils harmful to dogs…hormones…menopause… outcome measures…meaningful activity…is kylie really pregnant…life after grad school…advocacy boards in NL…ideas for wall behind couch pictures…why do dogs scuff grass after pooping…I mean I could go on forever…

as I wrote those things, I giggled (especially at the kylie one cause come on girl, show us damn it) and thought, where am I going with this…and then I had the brilliant idea to do one of the outcome measures I research on myself – why should I have the right to administer this daily to my clients and not experience it for myself…before putting my fingers on the calculator, I giggled and thought sure this would be fucking awesome if it legit correlated with how I’m feeling and what I’ve been searching with my good friend google…

drum roll…my raw score was interesting (my trusted colleagues will laugh at this because yes, I’m a nerd)…my needs identified revolved around being able to manage stress, advocating for myself, feeling part of my community, enjoying my home, being respected by others, contributing to my community, and spending my day doing the things I enjoy…now the analyzing part – was there a link between my recent computer searches with my identified needs – I’ve probably lost readers at this point, but I’m literally blowing my own mind…and again, my blog, my thought process – so yah linking my computer history search with my identified needs reveals a telling tale of the life of danilynn at this present time…

my needs in life are simple – I need to surround myself with those that respect me both personally and professionally…my contributions to my own self and to my community need to be meaningful in an effort to enhance my enjoyment of both myself and the communities where I belong…and the hormone and doggy stuff relates to my enjoyment of my home – with doggy bowel issues and a fucked up backyard and with hormonal changes impacting day-to-day functioning, my daily enjoyment factor has decreased dramatically…when you live in a state of flux and not knowing what’s wrong, you begin to resent the environment where that occurs…

so now why write this…well I want people to know that life is full of weird and wonderful questions and at some points in life it’ll be fucked up and if you think it isn’t well wake the fuck up…you know all those google questions you enter – I mean clearly others are asking the same things cause there’s actual answers and sometimes forums…lol lol…it’s not a bad thing that life is weird and fucked up or that our desires and aspirations meander from time to time on the path that we had carved out for ourselves…it’s okay…change is so good for us…it’s downright scary as shit but it’s good…

I feel like my dad groomed me to be the strong aging woman I am today and one of the ways I survive and keep myself safe in this big wonderful world is by using my senses to guide me…one of the things my dad preached to me in life – something his grandfather taught him…you can never trust a man with a sweaty handshake…I think over the years, I’ve picked up my own tricks of the trade and even though I don’t have kids to bestow my tricks on, like the sweaty hand – I use them to help others move forward in their own lives and sometimes they’re a mantra at bedtime to help protect myself…there are people in our world that project such an elitist demeanor – that in their presence you can feel your self-esteem, your confidence, your self-worth decrease as quickly as one’s blood pressure would decrease sitting poolside in a cabana with a frozen piña colada in a pineapple tingling their lips…there are people in this world that thrive on being perfect, envied by others, and revel in their success but at what expense…what I witness is the innate sense of entitlement at the expense of others…

my sweaty hand story is simple – no one person is better than you…people are afforded many different experiences in life that impact their journey and it’s not only those experiences that shape them but the people they encounter along the way…people’s needs can be as simple as a clean bed…a warm blanket…non-expired, non-dented cans of food in the cupboard…an education…shoes that fit…a stable income…a support system…or as complex as a home without drugs, alcohol, violence, threats…now we can’t be everyone’s savior or fulfill everyone’s needs but we can be kind…if nothing else we can practice kindness in society…

you may never know the impact of being called ‘crazy’, ‘mental’, ‘sicko’, ‘loser’…you may never know the impact of being diminished by a society that believes if you are breathing, you should have a job…you may never know what it feels to wake up and be haunted by feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness and down right degradation…but believe me when I say, if you don’t practice kindness, you are adding to the already broken system…

my parents taught me to smile at others, make eye contact, don’t judge, treat others like they are one of your own…my parents taught me safety in terms of protecting myself in this world…my parents worked their fucking butts off their entire lives to allow me the privilege of an education…my parents taught me love, laughter, emotions and a strong voice…my parents showed me how to live with humility, empathy, kindness, and compassion…my monetary value or educational status in this world means nothing in this life of mine…my thanks to my parents, my legacy to my name is my heart and my kindness – and that is enough for me…and that is my sweaty hand story – kindness trumps everything…not one person is better than another – it’s hard, man it’s fucking hard but we have to keep chanting that until it becomes part of us…the harder they throw, the quicker you catch…the harsher the words, the wider you smile…kindness is contagious…

the next time you feel yourself judging another, averting eye-contact of a stranger, or crossing the street to avoid a disheveled man…the next time you think others envy you or begrudge you for your monetary or educational worth…the next time you disregard, neglect, disrespect or dismiss – think about where your needs are in comparison to the other person…

when is enough, enough one may ask – when you believe it is…

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