OUCH! MESSAGE RECEIVED!

By Lisa Huddleston

First, there was the Instagram post from an amazing fiber-artist friend. She crochets and knits and felts and sews amazing, whimsical things I adore. But this was a short video of her FIRST attempt at spinning. GASP! It looked nearly perfect—to me anyway. She insisted I just couldn’t see the flubs. Ha! I wanted to cry when I considered how long I have been striving to spin that well. I did whisper a few hateful words to myself, but I fought the tears of despair. Some people are just naturally gifted—I thought encouragingly—others have to struggle. But, crud, why do I have to be a struggler?

Second, there was a Facebook post written by a young friend bemoaning some mistakes in his past for which he is still paying the price. I tried to encourage him writing that mistakes make the best teachers. He “liked” my wise-old-woman message, and I hope he took it to heart. Heck. I hope I did, too.

Third, I fought my sleep-deprived way out of the house this morning forcing myself to attend a flow yoga class. It has been quite a while since I’ve practiced vinyasa, and my strength is seriously waning—both physically and emotionally. I was definitely the oldest and the heaviest participant there, and at one point I landed with an ungraceful thud when I just couldn’t balance my bod for even one more unflowing moment. Oh! How embarrassing—what was I thinking coming here in this kind of shape?

Fourth, on the way home from said class, I listened to an interview on NPR with Ryan Holiday, the author of Ego is the Enemy. One premise of his book is that our social media culture mainly shows us the highest highs and the lowest lows of those we follow. The thuds and flubs and mistakes along the learning process are usually carefully staged, filtered, and posted very rarely—if they are ever seen at all. It’s the perfect apple pie or always-happily-smiling family or oiled, rippling abs that we see. And who can compare with that? I mean–why even try? Holiday believes that this culture keeps many from achieving what we could if we were more willing to fall and tangle and struggle and crash. And you know what? So do I.

Okay then. I have gotten at least four communications in less than 24 hours telling me to keep fighting the good fight. Message received already! Write. Knit. Weave. Spin. Twist. Tangle. And balance! You cannot learn to walk, Lisa, if you don’t land on your butt a few times—unless you’re just naturally gifted. Ugh! And there’s a blue bruise on my hip to remind me that that’s not the case. I am a warrior (a bff told me recently), and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Be a warrior!

Be a warrior!

 

Go in the strength you have, my friends. And I’ll keep going, too. Namaste!

 

 

JUST THREE WEEKS AND COUNTING

Beautiful Cumberland University … but why am I stuck inside?

Beautiful Cumberland University … but why am I stuck inside?

By Lisa Huddleston

Some days are so packed with “have to dos” that it seems as though I can never get around to my “want to do” list. And that’s exactly where you’ll find me right now. I just left the Adult Learning Center (work I enjoy when I have time) and am sitting on the lovely campus of Cumberland University to borrow some internet. Country living is great, but not for providing internet–no signal, again. Ironically, I am here because I need to work on a project for my on-line class, but I have decided to squeeze some blog time in for good measure and just because I want to.

Ahhh … let me settle in to this a little bit. Feels good. Feels right. So why did I feel a need to upset my life by taking classes this semester? I was beginning to find my stride in this Second Half life I’m now living. I was working out, creating, writing, volunteering, and enjoying my days. Now I am checking assignments, making deadlines, and designing presentations–all things that add stress to my life. Again I ask–why?

Believe in who you are!

Believe in who you are!

Well, something in me always rises to a challenge. I like to achieve goals, and that is a good thing. In fact, I believe if I’m not growing then I’m dying. But this time I let other people pick my goal for me, and I’m too old (although clearly not too wise) to let that happen. Goals are great, but I only enjoy them when I care about reaching them. This time all I have really learned is that I do not fit into institutional settings very well–and I already knew that! That’s why I’m more comfortable with odd, quirky people, with home-made learning, with non-denominational gatherings, and so on. My daughter says I’m a nonconformist, and I gleefully respond, “It takes one to know one!” And maybe it also takes one to truly appreciate one.

Yes, I will finish well. I will do the best I can to complete my assignments, and I will take away the learning that I can use–perhaps not in ways that others would like me to, but no learning is wasted. And that is a good thing, too. I am thankful to affirm who I am. I love the new people I have been able to meet. And I truly have enjoyed the exercise for my aging brain. But I am who I am, and here in the Second Half I need to make time to be just that.

Three weeks and counting …. Next time I mention doing something that everyone knows is NOT me–and we all know it’s bound to happen–somebody, please, stop me!