published in Achieving Your Dreams, Aging, Clutter, Creativity, Dreams/Goals, Home, Productivity, Writing by Maryanne | May 13, 2019 | 4 Comments

Purge, Toss, Recycle, Reflect: Is This What Happens At 50?

 

“I hope you will remove the clutter that prevents more from coming into your life.”

– Suze Orman

Purge, Toss, Recycle

As I ever so slowly continue to unpack my 200+ boxes from the move, I am purging, tossing and recycling like a mad-woman…not crazy-mad (although some would argue that) but a MAD WOMAN. As in, I am furious with myself for accumulating so much damn stuff over the years, never mind holding on to it for so long.

Upon reflection, here’s what I’m noticing…

The actual decisions as to what to keep and what to toss are easy. As I enter my sixth decade on the planet, I know what I want, need and love. As Marie Kondo would say, I know what “sparks joy.”

Making the decision is simple. Executing the decision is fast (put the item in the recycling bin, the thrift store box, the garbage or place it where it needs to go in the house). Where I am struggling is dealing with the psychological fall-out of purging all the old files in my office.

For it’s not just papers I’m getting rid of. I am also having to let go of an awful lot of goals, hopes and expectations I had set for myself as a writer. Not that I’m dying…I’m sure I still have plenty of time left to write. But I AM having to face the fact fact that despite my best intentions, I have not achieved anywhere near what I had hoped to, in the writing-department, by this point in my life.

Perhaps even more disconcerting is the fact that it’s not like I’ve been sitting around for the past 20 years, thinking about writing instead of actually writing (like the old days, before John’s death when I was 32 and got the wake-up call of all wake-up calls about the importance of working towards our dreams instead of just talking about them).

No. I have been writing…like a mad-woman. And yet I have not accomplished anywhere near what I had set out to. This is an extremely uncomfortable conclusion to arrive at.

And yet, I think it’s healthy. As such, I am trying to embrace this discomfort (rather like hugging a cactus) instead of denying it or running from it.

The fact of the matter is: time IS passing very quickly. And I’m hoping that the sooner I can shed that which I no longer want or need (or is no longer serving me), the more time and energy I will have to focus on what really matters to me – the relationships, projects, causes & activities – in the years that remains.

Is this what happens in our 50’s? We reach some sort of…point of reckoning? 

I would love to hear your perspective!

In the meantime, here are some photos from the past few weeks of purging, tossing & recycling:

Boxes of stuff headed to the thrift store 🙂

 

My wood nymph dress from ballet, complete with adorable cat pin (this did NOT get tossed)

 

My Nan Nan’s telephone table fits perfectly in the foyer

 

A cozy nook by the fire a.k.a. the reflection chair

 

My assistant on yet another backyard break

And here comes the new…

Of course, now that I am shedding stuff left, right & center, this is creating a vacuum in which to receive new stuff – but believe me, I am being VERY selective as to what new items make their way into my home and life.

Case in point is a BBQ.

I had left my old, rusted, beast of a BBQ behind in Sidney so was going to have to get a new one. But I looked out my living room window a few weeks ago and low and behold, right across the street a BBQ had appeared on the curb overnight – with with a big FREE sign stuck to it.

I raced out my front door lickity-split, dashed across the street and pounced on that BBQ like a fat kid on a Smartie. I had just opened the lid to inspect inside when the home owner came out her front door and greeted me with a big smile.

“It’s older but it’s barely been used,” she said. “Can you use it?”

Beaming, I rolled that puppy back across the street, parked it in my backyard and have been using it almost daily every since 🙂

Slow Motion Multi-Tasking

Interestingly, shortly after beating myself up about not getting enough writing projects completed yet, I heard on the radio about a concept called “Slow Motion Multi-Tasking.” Apparently it is a creative process that many geniuses (such as Einstein) have utilized to their advantage over the years.

Basically slow motion multi-tasking refers to the practice of working for a significant period of time on a single project then putting it aside, working on another large project then putting that aside and returning to the first project with a fresh perspective. I have been doing this for years with multiple projects and I DO see the benefit. I just get freaked out sometimes that nothing will ever get finished and sent out into the world.

Apparently, however, I am in good company with this practice of slow motion multi tasking, so I shall continue to persevere with patience and passion!

But I reckon a little self-reflection now and then is not a bad thing.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

 

published in A Widow's Awakening Book, Book Reviews, Death, Grief, Life After Loss, Widowhood by Maryanne | April 26, 2019 | No Comments

Grief Reiki Weighs in on A Widow’s Awakening Book

 

“I cried, I laughed, and found compassion for this woman who was courageously trying to navigate through what seemed like a terrible dream. This book is a must-read for anyone who has lost someone they loved and struggled to find their way in the aftermath of tragedy.”

– Sharon Ehlers, Grief Reiki®

Are you grieving the loss of a loved one?

Sharon Ehlers is the founder of Grief Reiki® LLC. She is the author of “Grief Reiki®; An Integrated Approach to the Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Components of Grief and Loss” and co-author of “Grief Diaries; Surviving Loss by Suicide.” Sharon is an Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist and a Reiki Master Teacher. I was very honoured when she reviewed my book, “A Widow’s Awakening,” recently.

Here is what Sharon had to say…

“Based on a true story, A Widow’s Awakening is a hauntingly beautiful story of enduring love, overwhelming heartache and discovering resiliency. After the tragic death of her police officer husband Sam, Adri struggles to breathe let alone move forward in her life. With descriptions that are heartfelt, painful and often humorous, author Maryanne Pope artfully paints a picture of what it is like to have your entire world pulled out from under you. Having lost my own loved one tragically, I could so relate to everything Adri was feeling, experiencing and describing…”

Please click here to read the full review.

To purchase A Widow’s Awakeninghere is the link to the list of on-line retailers.

About Grief Reiki®

Grief Reiki® LLC is a small business based in Los Angeles, CA. They specialize in providing The Grief Recovery Method® educational programs to individuals, small groups and corporations. They also integrate the emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of grief through the Japanese Healing Art of Reiki. They offer individual and group grief recovery education, Reiki healing & relaxation sessions, as well as in-person or online classes and webinars.

For more information, please visit Grief Reiki.

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

 

published in Activity, Inspiration, Joy, Laughter, Photos, Travel by Maryanne | April 23, 2019 | 2 Comments

Disneyland For Dummies

 

MA & Laura on the Dumbo ride

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”

– Karl Barth

So I took a little break from unpacking boxes…

And went to Disneyland over the Easter weekend with my niece, Laura, who turned 27 while at the park (she got to wear the Birthday Button). We had a BLAST!!

Our 3-day adventure was as fun as it was mainly because Laura is a Disneyland-guru.

By that I mean she knows Disneyland…where to get the freshest churros (don’t settle for ones that have been sitting around for 20 minutes), how to use the FastPasses AND the FastPass app, which ride to tackle first in the day before the line-up gets too long (Radiator Springs), where to watch the World of Colour show (and to remain seated as long as possible, to rest those aching feet, before the park wardens make you stand up), how to appease an Aunt who is weirdly obsessed with the Star Tours ride (take Aunt on said ride over & over again until she has seen every single variation of C-3PO’s intergalactic journeys), how to make that Aunt even happier (take her on her second favourite ride, Soarin’, over and over again), and so on.

The trick to having a successful visit to Disneyland is simple: go with a pro who makes things smooth like buttah (speaking of which…oh, the popcorn!)

45 hours, 75,0000 steps and 60 rides later (we’re weren’t muckin’ around), I can safely say we got our money’s worth out of Disneyland and California Adventure.

And the food was AMAZING…from churros, corn dogs and hot fudge sundaes to fried chicken, monte cristo sandwiches and deep fried pickles (but for Heaven’s sake, don’t bite into them right away…let them cool a moment. Laura warned me but I did listen? No, of course not…and the roof of my mouth is still sore).

If you haven’t had the Mickey-shaped beignets at the Mint Julep bar, you may wish to add them to your bucket list…yum! Oh, and the Dole Whip (pineapple deliciousness) on a hot day tastes even better while watching the kooky but cheery singing bird show in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room.

Here are some snaps from our 3 days of fun:

My most Magical Moment: meeting Minnie Mouse 🙂

If you’ve been to Disneyland or DisneyWorld, what are some of your favourite rides, food and/or memories? 

“Laughter is an instant vacation.”

– Milton Berle

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.