Connecting The Dots

Discussing the threads of my own passions which have culminated in my work as coach, mentor, presenter in my own business.

Tomorrow a new baby arrives

Mary Johnson - Monday, November 26, 2018

There's a huge anticipation in the air around our place. Tomorrow our youngest son and his wife officially become parents. For them much focus is on the upcoming birth. The questions about how will it be? how will I be? am I up to the delivery? The angst is overlaid with nervous laughing, occasional tears and a flurry of activity to be ready. I remember that worry.

What is almost impossible to explain is that this part is a matter of a few hours in a lifetime. That as of tomorrow your life is irreversibly changed. It's a shift in a couples paradigm that you only 'get' once baby arrives. I know we didn't get it. Our friends still kid us about our insistence that nothing would change. Neil and I would continue quite as before, .... just with a wee one in tow. Ha! I look back and realize how naive we were. Blessedly so! Once we were into the swing of parenting, we had 2 more. The wonder and joy of being a parent had us commit readily. The whole birthing process didn't stop us. 

Time puts a sweet perspective on things. I love being here, at the Grandma stage. The new one will be a delight. All the ups and downs of parenting a child are not ours to do. We just get to love this baby. And hold a space for the new parents to find their way. 

Tomorrow a new baby arrives. Wish the new parents well!       

Be all I'm not

Mary Johnson - Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday is an extra special reflection time for me. I have some questions I pose to myself at the end of each week to capture the essence of what the week has been. Every once in a while there's a loud Bingo! While doing a stream of consciousness writing about 'My Joyful Life', I wrote to be all I am followed by to be all I am not. I stopped (not what you are supposed to do with this type of writing). It hit me. Hard! I don't go near the things I am not! They are weaknesses, not 'positive', can pull you down. Focusing on them dooms you to be buried there in the mud fixing something that can't be fixed. Or so say the current wisdom. 

The Bingo was what if I embraced the things I am not as heartily as the things I am? Rather than skirt, hide or diminish them,  I loudly declare who I am not! It felt like a missing piece for me. That whole other side of me that is not acknowledged for fear of not showing up as positive, chipper, go-getter. Yet all I am not defines me too! So here goes.

I'm an Extrovert and tend to love being with people. Yes! And now a days many people are not to my liking, crowds energy sucking and it turns out I often rather like my own company.

Generally I see or work hard to see the good or other possibilities in situations. And sometimes what shows up is just wrong, stupid or just not my worth time or energy so I turn away and don't engage. Turn off inane TV, unless expecting an emergency turn off your phone when we are having coffee. Please don't ask me to 'Share if you agree'.  

I  care about my family. A lot! But sometimes it's just all too much and I don't care - for a time.

Been married 40 years and have been a pretty good partner for the most part. The other part - I can be a bitch!

This isn't the whole enchilada but you get my drift. Saying any of this isn't something I want to debate. This is, well, 'is' stuff. The world doesn't always show up nice and either do I. Declaring there's a cranky, don't care, disengaged gal in there sometimes means I have a chance to make peace with her. Something I have been loath to do. I'm thinking this might just be a good thing.   

   

   

Baby toes

Mary Johnson - Friday, November 02, 2018

What brings you joy? .....

This is a question Kathleen and I have on our Life Review for our women over 60 program (Offerings). When we invited the participants to complete the review questions before session 2, the difficulty of answering this particular question came up. It had struck a nerve. Almost everyone at first blush was having trouble naming what brings them joy. I too remember struggling with the whole concept of 'joy'. The picture in my mind's eye was of a one thing that propelled me into a constant state of happy. That somehow I was to be in a place of perpetual joy. Silly me! of course there is no such thing. Of course if someone has an idea of what would this, do share! 

So a good while back I sat myself down and redefined for myself what 'joy' was to me. It range from breath taking moments like driving through red maple country this fall to quiet times of deep contentment like at the end of a productive and meaningful day. Plus a whole lot of stuff in between! Watching the squirrels cavort in the green space behind my home, a juicy conversation with a friend, meeting someone with an unusual take on life, drinking a cup of coffee in the quiet of the morning. With this I understood it was an internal marker vs an external check mark. This too opened up possibilities! With this new context my noting of joyful activities and moments came easily. With some of this discussion the women were sent home with the 'homework' of coming up with their list of what gives them joy.  

Session 2 began with them putting up their ideas, one per stickie note, one a wall. The seed had been planted. Up went the beginning of a listing of wonderfully joyful experiences. One of the items took my breath away. Baby toes the stickie said. I was immediately transported to a time of wee, wee ones and the wonderful smell, feel and look of baby toes. In that moment it became a whole body experience. So incredibly simple and oh how joyful!