Homemade Queen

Since our last episode. . .

It is so much fun to see all my userpics again!

So. . . It's been at least four years since my last stab at a post here, so I'm not going to try to catch up all at once. The short version is that uncrowned_king died eleven years ago this past May and I have only recently truly, fully healed of that grief and the depression which followed. Wolfling is now a young lady of twenty-two. My father died two years ago in September, which was very hard. I've been working with the same company for seven years now, a new record. It's still "just a day job" but I'm reconciled to working as an admin and trying once again to focus on my vocation outside of work. I earned a second masters degree -- an MS in Health Communication -- but haven't been able to put it to use.

I am now 53 years old -- which boggles me. People tell me I still look at least ten years younger, but I am very, very aware of being "middle aged" now. I don't want to say that the grieving years were all "lost time." I accomplished a lot, grew a lot, had some great experiences -- but I know that my capacities were significantly diminished during that time. Now that I finally have energy back -- and Wolfling has moved out (although not far away -- and she's making dinner in my kitchen as I write this) -- I'm able to do a lot more.

This evening I went to my first bellydance class. On Tuesday I went to my first Toastmaster's meeting. Someone just started a Lightworkers Toastmasters club, conveniently located on my way home from work, and I'm looking forward to polishing my public speaking skills and doing some intellectual stretching. I did four years of policy debate when I was in high school, so I have no fear of public speaking, but it's been a long time since I focused on developing skill. I'd looked at other clubs from time to time, but I chose this one because I like the idea of participating in a club in which everyone is at least a little bit 'woo woo.'

I actually tried bellydancing more than a decade ago. It didn't go well. I'm a musical person, and have good rhythm. . . but dancing for me has been like rubbing my tummy and patting my head at the same time. And that first class was full of younger girls with cool outfits and much smaller waistlines. I was completely intimidated and uncomfortable and never went back. This evening's class had fewer participants, a wider range of body sizes and ages -- and I'm older. I can focus on my own work without judging myself against others. The moves are not easy for me, but that's why I'm there: to learn, so they become easy.

I have really missed the community here. Facebook is good for keeping in touch with people, keeping 'soft bonds' in place, but there is almost never any in-depth reflection or conversation.

*gives all my old friends a big hug
Spock Fascinating

iPad

One reason I can start getting back to LJ is that my iPod allows me to access this site during the work day, even though my workplace has a firewall that blocks it.

My old smartphone worked okay with LJ but the newer one was never reliable.

I don't have as much at work as used to have back at FormerMyCo, but at least I can use the iPad to read my friends list during breaks -- and on the bus!
Playing with Stars

Finally Found a Terrific Vision-Values-Roles-Goals Tool!

I’ve been wishing for months that I could somehow find or create an elegant, vivid way to express the ways my spiritual path and vocation, my career aspirations (which include my current graduate school program), my health and fitness endeavors, my domestic life, my creativity, and my role as mother in one place — and I’d pretty much given up. Everything intertwines at so many levels, it seemed impossible to find a single tool that could bring it all together.

But the other day I stumbled upon an iPad app called “Inspire!” It seems to be built on the Franklin Covey process of identifying values, roles, and goals, and then putting them all together. It has beautiful built-in images, but also the ability to add your own. Ditto motivational quotes, which can be categorized by values. To my surprise, the streaming desktop/quote feature includes the photos I’ve added to illustrate my roles and values, along with the text I entered to express them. It weaves everything together in a gorgeous package that even includes the option of music!

All this for $4.99.

I’m delighted with it — and as soon as I get this project from hell completed, I’m going to sit down and do some focused work with it.
QOS

Not Going to Try to Catch Up

Hi Folks --

I've been blogging over at Tumblr for the past few months -- which essentially means that I've been posting and re-posting a lot of images and not being very word. (I know: Who are you and what have you done with QiA??)

Quickly:
1. Still in love with the guy from January. Things are going very nicely. He's not UncrownedKing, but no one ever will be. I'm content.

2. Going to graduate school for my MS in Health Communication. It's going well -- except for this paper that's going to be the death of me. I have a 24 hour, no penalty extension to finish it. Which probably explains why I'm on LJ for the first time in months!

3. Work is okay. Same old same old.

4. Wolfling continues to be an amazing, beautiful, creative, smart, and loving kid young woman. She's sixteen now. . . !!

5. Spiritual life has its ups and downs -- mostly in the consistency/discipline area. I feel like I'm in the process of pulling things together in a comprehensible way for the first time in a long time.

6. I've just re-started SparkPeople (www.sparkpeople.com) to get back to healthy eating and exercise habits. So far, so good.
White Horse

Hometown

Spent a good chunk of yesterday and today on the road, driving to and from my hometown to attend the wedding of my oldest friend. It was a very good trip, but I'm exhausted.

It's been a long time since I visited, and it was a bit unnerving to see how much had changed. It was even more unnerving, however, to realize that in many cases I didn't remember what had been there previously. . .
Spring Path

Sex & Spirit

Now that my psyche is pretty much back to my personal normal (YMMV) again, I'm starting to gently poke at it with a virtual stick.

The primary question is the same as it's been for the past several years: What do I want? What do I yearn for?

The answer I've been getting (and, to be honest, I was getting it before I started the meds, but now I'm able to feel it, not just think it) is I want to be deeply engaged in erotic spirituality.

Those two threads -- sex and spirit, together and separately -- have been at the core of my interests since adolescence. I was just starting to meaningfully engaged them with uncrowned_king and _storyteller_ when one died and the other left. It's time to start again, not quite from ground zero but almost. The explorations I did with them were exuberant, impulsive, instinctive. It's time to be mindful and deliberate, to cultivate it.

(Don't get me wrong. I would love to be exuberant, impulsive, and instinctive in this area again, but lacking a partner makes it more difficult.)

While pondering this, I became curious: just how important is your sexuality (expressed alone, with one or more partners, with or without an explicitly spiritual element) to your overall sense of identity, purpose, and well-being? I get the sense that my level of interest and engagement is rather more intense than most, but it's not something I've sat around and chatted with others about for a long time.

Anyone care to share? All comments will be screened and anonymous responses are okay. If you're okay with me unscreening your comment, let me know, otherwise all comments will remain screened.