Life Is An Awfully Big Adventure.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning with my heart pounding.

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It’s as if I’ve been running up a hill, or maybe running away from something or someone. Maybe I’m running away from myself. Maybe I’m running to myself. All I know is that something has triggered my fight or flight response and my heart and mind are RACING. My legs are twitching. My eyes are wide open. I have awareness of every fact of every day of every week. Maybe I have been dreaming about doing a wonderful life adventure. Maybe it really happened. Maybe it has yet to come.

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If I have the time and the space, I am most adept in the morning at freeing my mind and breathing into my stomach in a meditative exercise. If I don’t have the time or if someone has tiptoed into bed in the middle of the night and is now kicking my back, or whining, or meowing, the spell has been broken. I get up and start my day. I wish I could tell you that this is a rare occurrence, but it happens quite a bit lately. It happens a lot during stressful weeks, and it even happens during nothing weeks because the opportunity is always ignited for a fight or flight response to be on deck. The opportunity to be needed.

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And sometimes I even mean that in a good way.

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Life is an awfully big adventure. Life is THE awfully big adventure.

It’s an adventure when you’re a super sensitive soul with loss of control fears, a dislike of loud noises, and you experience life transitions as little earthquakes. Even though life IS a transition, or a series of them. It’s not just earthquakes – it’s waves. Some of them are easy laps. Some of them knock you down and tear you underwater, with no access to air. And some of them knock you down, but almost joyfully, and then they set you right again – right where you were already standing..

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..but maybe slightly to the left, or slightly to the right. Or slightly more upright, more tall and more powerful.

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More than previously. More than maybe ever before.

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This. Is the adventure. It’s staring you in the face. It’s everywhere you turn. You cannot hide, even in sleep.

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My anxiety comes from three places, that I know about. It’s not just the toxic buildup of sadness, anger and loss that is not properly processed. It’s not just the PTSD of seeing my father fall on the ground, and never wake up. Never come home. It’s the fact that all of that had happened to a little girl who already had a sensitive temperament. It’s the fact that I was born to hear things loudly, see things brightly, and sure as hell smell and taste things strongly. Oh yeah. And there’s the feelings.

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Some of us are made to feel things like full body earthquakes, but hey, we’re meant to withstand the shudders as well.

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And I wouldn’t be Tamara Like Camera if not for the whole package. Thanks, Dizmommy, for pointing that out beautifully.

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This is my challenge, and this is my adventure. It’s an awfully big challenge..

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..and it’s an awfully big adventure.

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What is your challenge? What is your adventure? Where are the places where they meet in the middle?

And now for my Second Act, I’m going to go completely wordless. Dog-park wordless.

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The Story In My Heart.

Some of the stories in my heart to tell you aren’t completely delightful.

Although this one mostly is. We went to the Big E on Friday. Have you ever heard of the Big E or gone to it? It’s the New England Fair, and New England is comprised of six states. So this fair is huge and overwhelming. Oddly, it’s only a town or two away from Six Flags New England, where we also have the more much fun. I’m pretty sure it gets more crowded each year.

Guess what? I didn’t bring my camera. On purpose! This was our sixth year in a row and my first time without it.

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First of all, I have the iPhone which takes decent enough photos. And second, sometimes the camera gives me great records of my children’s lives, but less of my own. More photos, but less memories in my mind. Less stories in my heart. It blocks me from total immersion in life. Sometimes, that’s great. Sometimes I can find the perfect balance. In 80 degrees, while carrying heavy things and pushing a stroller and wanting to ride a few rides? I didn’t have the energy. I reserved it for having fun.

So I rode an elephant, although I’m firmly in the camp that elephants do not belong in Springfield, MA. They always look so happy when they’re free. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it again, but it was paid for and Scarlet was begging me..

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We also all rode a ferris wheel together. The bigger one of the two.

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Scarlet proved herself to be a natural at the pony rides.

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She even asked us for a pony.

Sometimes anxiety blocks me from doing ANYTHING. I still get by in life, obviously, but an anxiety episode can last anywhere from two minutes to two hours, and I feel useless during it. At other times, I can do giant things without incident. Living large things. Partying. Traveling. Loving. Doing things that scare me. Giant needles. Root planings. Giving birth. Ain’t no thing.

It was a nice day during a somewhat anxious time. I am rebuilding my strength and getting things done again. There was a period of a few weeks in which this was very much not possible. In which I would have wanted to hide at home. So to go for a final dress fitting with Des to give Scarlet and Cassidy more time in the morning at the fair, and then to park in a very tightly packed driveway and to go into a giant fair was huge. I even saw someone barf after a ride, which usually would set me back into a near panic attack. Instead, I realized I didn’t give a sh*t. I think that’s how it must work for most non-phobics. You just can’t give a sh*t. Barf happens. I actually thought it was a little funny. And then I went with my family and ate a big lunch. It’s funny how some things don’t touch me at all when I’m not anxious, and the smallest things do when I am anxious.

On Saturday we had a pretty big adventure too. More on that soon.

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I was reading one of Jenerally Informed’s recent posts about the powerful legacy of love within her family, and I knew I wanted to chime in with another story that’s in my heart. It’s one of those stories I have never had to write down, because it’s firmly protected within its power. It’s about a deceased love one. And it’s not that I’m not a believer in such things, but I’m not always a believer. Part of me would love to believe in what comes next and messages from beyond, but the other half of me is pretty happy with earth magic, and creating your own power and happiness. Maybe it’s all connected..

My father’s mother, my Grandma Bella, loved rainbows very much.

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She passed away during the last day of my finals, first semester of my senior year of college. Her funeral was on a dry and sunny December day. Dry and sunny. December. During the ceremony, someone interrupted the Rabbi and told us all to look up in the sky. There was a double rainbow directly above us. We all saw it. One of the rainbows was vivid and one was faded. I had never seen a rainbow, much less a double rainbow, on a dry and sunny day in December. And I haven’t since.

A few years later, I was telling my co-worker the story. On a dry and sunny day in April. I walked out of my office for the day, looked up in the sky and saw a double rainbow. One was vivid and one was faded. I freaked out and ran back in to show him. He was flabbergasted. Oddly, this job was not at all far from the cemetery where my grandparents and father are buried.

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Do you have a story in your heart to tell today?