Soaring through Turbulence

Perfect isn't it

Perfect isn’t it

My friends have been worried, so have been my dearly beloved and my children. Admittedly, I have been on a bit of a tear lately about all the things wrong, all the things pulling my spirit spiraling down. I want to say though this isn’t the only thing I feel day in and day out; there are wonderful days as well, days that despite or maybe because of those clouds I am just plain old happy.

My friend Deb Bryan has taught me through her series For this I am Thankful to see life with gratitude, to see through a prism of thankfulness for all I have been given.

There are days when I climb out of bed and grab my first cup of coffee and a big smile is plastered across my face! Dearly Beloved has risen before me and made the coffee all I have to do is pour, then yell ‘Good Morning honey’. Coffee is huge; that Dearly Beloved has learned to make it is enormous!

I am working and not traveling right now. This is an unusual circumstance for me, driving to a client site each day, sleeping in my own bed each night and in the arms of my dearly beloved. My normal work requires me to be on a plane every Sunday, in hotels all week and not home until Thursday, sometimes even Friday. In most of the years of our marriage, this working in the city we live in, it is a rarity. It is nice and I am most grateful for it, for this time we have. With luck, we have until April of next year with this contract I continue to hold on and hope.

This past year we moved my second mother into Assisted Living, this was quite the learning experience for me. She and I have had a troubled relationship for most of my life. I learned I could let go, I could open my heart, danceletting go of old hurts without the requisite ‘I am sorry’ from her that I had always wanted to hear. I could do this because it was simply the right thing to do for all of us, me, my brother and her. In the process of this move, I found old history, old photos I am still cataloging. This is one of my favorite things, these photos and slides, this connection to the past. Remember I said I loved dance, it connects me to myself, this is me!

Part of the trip to Seattle didn’t just reconnect me to my second mother; it reconnected me to another part of my history. I finally dropped the barriers and reached out to my first mother, made the trip to see her. We had spoken once and written once or twice since our emotional break nearly a decade previously. Now we are moving toward each other, easily and with more loving hearts. With her I am moving toward others in my biological family also, sisters and brothers who have been in my heart but not in my life.

On Friday past I went to my first acupuncture session, I was scared! Don’t know why I was scared, I mean really I have thirteen tattoos, what about some little ole bitty needles should scare category17me right? Nevertheless, I still walked into this first session with not an insignificant amount of trepidation. I suppose we always face the unknown with fear. I walked out feeling better than I have in weeks, perhaps months, I am returning today for my second session.

There are other things this year has brought me, things I feel good about and that make me believe the world doesn’t entirely suck all the time. There are days when I feel like I have done good, made life better for someone been able to touch someone in a positive fashion and that sticks with me and makes it brighter. This year I have learned to be more open and to look for opportunities to give without thought of return. Each time I have done so, the return is tenfold as my heart expands and my happiness quotient is measured in thousands. That I have the means to give, that I have the means to help even as I whine about what a terrible year it has been rocks me back and forces me to consider just how blessed I am to have all that I have.

I know I have been on a tear.  There are days I admit, it is hard and I simply want to sit in my room and pout. It isn’t every day though, truly it isn’t every day.  It seems I am spiraling down and unable to lift my wings and fly, it is just the turbulence though; most days I find I can catch an updraft and soar.

This song speaks to those days of wonder, enjoy.


  1. frigginloon says:

    Without the ups and downs of life we can never learn or grow. I swear there are little angels/devils up there messing with our lives….hmm, she looks happy, I might just bring this into her life and see what happens. Mine is especially mischievious and gets a good laugh at my expense. When I die I think I might slap mine 🙂 Have a wonderful day xxxx

  2. Hi Val, in the midst of the developing news from the School my thoughts turned to you and hope that this day is not too difficult for you.

    In the next hour or so, Obama is due to make a statement. I am a huge fan of his, but just for once I would love to see him drop his measured tones ( which is one his great strengths), just once, I want to see angry as hell. Baning the the lecturn, glaring at the cameras and calling the NRA out on this. Anyway, ’nuff said. As they say in an English Pub; keep yer pecker up!

    • Thanks Bill, for your thoughts. I did indeed have a rough day yesterday. My husband and I are on holiday but I ended up refusing to leave the the news nearly all day. Pecker is up and though I promised myself some down time this weekend I suspect you will see my thoughts shortly.

  3. Try not to judge yourself for “being on a tear.” You are being you, darling Val, and the fact that you are writing about these things, these feelings, and this time is a means of healing. I’m glad you are able to have moments of gratitude, and I hope you allow yourself to feel all your feelings, and not judge yourself (or let others judge you) for them. You add so much to this world, and each experience and emotion you share with us touches our souls.

    • Another thought too – often when I express raw feelings, and then others express concern, I feel this need to quickly backtrack and say – oh, wait, I’m ok, don’t worry about me. Sound familiar? Don’t let the concern and love that people show you make you hide your feelings. Just accept their love, let it wrap around you, and sit. xo

      • Thanks for both – I am tough but I don’t like people to worry (notice that?). Sometimes when I simply vent and then vent so more I feel as if I don’t tell the good stuff and there is lots of that. There truly is a balance in my life, so often I forget to lay that balance out in front of me and then when I see it I want others to know and see it as well.

        Thanks my friend, for reminding me to feel, all of it. I often need those reminders.

  4. One step at a time, Val. I’m glad there are some good things in your life.Wishing you the best, this holiday season. Hugs!

  5. Val. I’m so happy to hear that you are happier. You seem to be such a lovely person and I, for one, am cheering for you! I don’t know why bad things happen to good people but I do know that where we find comfort for our trials we can choose to comfort others with that wisdom. That seems to be a primary glue that holds us together as humans. You are doing that with your blog and the triumph of your life. God bless.

    • There are always moments that are dark and then there are those days that are bright were we can pull on our tutus and dance. While part of the reason I write is to pull myself out of the abyss, expose my history and use it. The other reason I write is in Gratitude, to explore the wonder of the world, relationships and love itself, even when we get kicked around.

      Thanks for cheering! As my heart mom said to me once. I am stronger so things happen to me because can take it, wrestle it to the ground and even tame it. I was never thankful for that endorsement but I understood what she meant.

  6. Val I’m glad you’re feeling more upbeat, more positive. I’m glad too that acupuncture has helped your pain. Whatever works for you is the right method, if you ask me. (Although as someone who has had a zillion operations myself, I would be terrified of those needles, too!)

    Sometimes it is such a blessing to let out the dark on paper/computer. I know that I often feel so much lighter when looking at a painful experience through the lens of how it will look to others. It helps me heal, release, feel first more and then less pain. Usually much less pain. Acupuncture with words?

    Still I am bummed that we weren’t able to meet. Another time, and soon!

    • Ah Elyse, our day will come!

      Those dark days, they come and go but I am not going to let them own me you know? I think it is so important to say ‘for this I am so grateful’.

  7. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    I’m so excited that you tried acupuncture! How was your second session?

    You should know that you have done my heart a great deal of good, on a daily basis (if I am to use the most cautious of assessments). Thank you. ♥

    • Well, second session didn’t go off only because the acupuncturist failed to be in his office at the appointed hour. I am sad. But I will find someone more responsible and continue the process. I was so happy with the outcome! Days, with the pain down below 5 and the numb spots barely noticeable.

      You taught me this Deb, I am blessed by your friendship and learning from you. Thank you.

  8. Very inspirational! You have gone through so much, you keep on keeping on. You are a beautiful work in progress! 🙂 Digging this now.

  9. Val,
    I love and appreciate your honesty.

    Thru our weakness, we find our true strengths.

    Love Xxx

    • Kim – looking in the mirror is sometimes the hardest thing in the world. For me though, I want to be able to see what I have, who I have become in a positive light even through the most terrible things. You know, even when I am hurting and feel as if I am on my knees I want to be able to stand back up. It is in large part, through so many of the wonderful people I have found here that standing up feels better, that gratitude is more easily touched.

      Love & Hugs


  10. I’m so glad to hear this news, Val!…very pleased!

  11. Gosh, I hear ya, Val! Life is nothing if not a roller coaster. I, too, have a troubled relationship with my mother, so I understand a bit about what that might be like for you, but I’m happy to hear you’ve reached out to your first mother, as well. Blessing to you, my friend. Sorry to be so behind on my blog reading!

    • Oh I have been behind also, I know that feeling so well. Tis the season isn’t it? My relationships with both my mothers has always been interesting (what I say about ugly babies) but I think perhaps I was simply ready to heal them both. You are right, life does have all the makings of a really frightening roller coaster. We either get on, strap ourselves in and ride or we stand on the ground. Some of us weren’t given a choice, I suspect you and I are of the second group.

      Hugs right back at ya


  12. Oh Val so good to know how far you have come this year.. and isnt Acupuncture great!???
    Such a great Post Val from a very courageous lady …
    My thoughts and best wishes always with you Val…
    hugs Sue

    • I thought after the terrible it was important to say it isn’t all terrible, there is silver. I had to focus on what isn’t terrible and look through that prism of gratitude. This has been a hard year, physically and emotionally but out of it has come some real gifts. I needed to remind myself of these. I also needed to let others know, I am not hanging over a precipice ready to drop.

      Hugs back

  13. I wish you well with your acupuncture. Studies have shown its effectiveness. I’m all for alternative treatments if they’ve been shown to be effective and safe. I look forward to learning whether the good result you achieved lasts.

    • I had an entire weekend with the pain notched down to level 4! I go back tomorrow but thus far I am pretty damned happy. I moved all weekend without tears and without Motrin 800 or anything stronger. That is a miracle in and of itself.

  14. Allan G. Smorra says:

    I have learned this: It is ok to look at the past, but don’t stare.

    Enjoy your time working near home and happy holidays to you and your family.

    • I think it depends, sometimes the past swallows you whole until you purge it. I am greatly enjoying my time near home, though the commute is a very new experience for me and Dallas drivers might cause me to learn a thing or two about road rage.

      Holidays? Oh yeah they are coming up. Have joyful holidays yourself.

  15. keep looking for the rainbows!

  16. I am so happy for you, Valentine. So happy, the good days are more plentiful. Of course, you have done all the hard work, all those difficult years. Now the payoff is on the horizon.

    • You know, I begin to suspect the payoff is in the ability to give back. Those times when I find I can do small things even that heal others actually tend to lift me up. When I find myself outside of myself, I am better. Laughter, small joys even the little things seem to bring those updrafts more frequently and I am better. I don’t guess it will all be blue skies and sunshine, but it is good to be able to say, ‘It doesn’t suck.’

  17. I’m happy you get to relate to the only thing that is truly yours. You have courage.

  18. Coupled with reading our previous post (which I just did), you’ve taken me through some of the roller-coaster emotions in your life … but this one has a better feel of a positive hope.

    • It has been a roller-coaster year Frank. I keep looking for those updrafts and find them more often than not. But there are those days, those days where it just feels like it is crashing in. It is important though I think to say it isn’t every day, it isn’t even most days.

      There are so many things to be grateful for and I am truly blessed.

  19. Val, you’ve put into words how I’ve been feeling lately. Thank you. Such a delicate fine line we tread between feeling like whining about our troubles to feeling blessed about the good things we have in life. For me it’s a constant process of retraining my inner thought pattern (I’ve taken up meditation again and it’s doing wonders already). I am very interested in your acupuncture experience. I have never tried it and want to some day very soon.

    • I will have to say I spent an entire weekend at level 4 pain. Given the recent escalation of pain to level 8, this was a huge relief. I am so grateful my doctor is happy for me to work with alternative pain management solutions. I am off to my second round of acupuncture this afternoon and will likely write about the entire experience soon.

      It is a delicate and treacherous line we walk. I have been struggling this year, kicking at the walls I have had firmly in place for most of my life. Retraining as you say, my thinking.

      Perhaps we both have to find those paths and those updrafts.

  20. This is beautiful. And thanks to you I totally agree that the world doesn’t completely suck. There are days when I thought it did, but you reminded me it didn’t…and made me cry dozens of time because you knew exactly what I meant and exactly what do to put the suckiness in perspective. All in all…you taught me to Soar through Turbulence. Granted, you looked better doing it and your tiara is WAY more sparkly than mine, but you taught me really powerful life lessons. So – thank you for sharing your strengths and perspectives with me.

    • Ah, thank you. You just made me cry, see what I mean. That whole giving with no expectation of a return. It is awesome and feels so good, that is that whole Rocks me Back. I love this community and knowing how easily our words can touch one another.

      • Me, too.

        You are definitely on my list of Inspiration and Motivation and Happy this year.

        So – thank you…and yay for the Blog-o-sphere (and Red) for bringing us together.

        Life is good…isn’t is?

      • I think that your blog doesn’t like my responses….but, they say the third times a charm…so, here we go…..

        I’m actually glad I made you cry…you make me cry a LOT. Your words have TOTALLY changed my world…and given me support when I needed it and reminded me to get a backbone when I needed to grow one. I LOVE LOVE this community too…home away from home…you know, from home….

        LOTS of love….and many many many thanks
        (and I still will totally clean your bathroom 😉

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