Retired Judge

25 Feb

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Although difficult, for me, running against the wind is instinctive.  I wanted to be the peaceful type full of hope and pink ponies and optimism; but ever since I can remember, I’ve taken rough back roads instead of flowing along with crowds down pristine super highways.  I’m not a glass half empty woman any more than I’m a glass half full one.  For me, there’s water in a glass that has plenty room for more.

As a child, I used to groan under my breath at family gatherings when the topic for discussion shifted to the elders’ perception of change.  The word change, it seemed, was interchangeable with self-indulgence and destruction.  “The younger generation is going to bring about the end of everything we’ve built and cast the world over the cliff into a hungry abyss that will swallow it whole.”  Blah. Blah. Blah.

kitchen women

About this time I would generally inch my way toward the back door, planning escape.  I wish I’d listened more when I was young, paid more attention.  I wish I’d been more respectful of the process of wisdom gathering, opinion formation and varying styles of perception.  These are skills that come to fruition with aging, but I didn’t get it and I was really quite arrogant about it all, shaking my head at the gloom and doom old fools I left in the living room worrying about the future of the planet. It never entered my mind they were worrying about my life, what the realities would be in the wake of monumental change following the Great Depression and World War 2.

However, my perspective shifted noticeably when I crossed the 60 year line myself as I struggled with unsettling feelings of semi-bitterness for the rapid fire changes that had beset a world I was no longer familiar with and often uncomfortable in.

Those were emotionally exhausting days spent holding myself back, or propelling forward like rotted chicken catapulted from a giant sling shot.  And once again, arrogance, as I assumed my way was somehow the best way, often better even than the steady voices of men and women of peace, or the predictions of masterful economic minds, or the advice offered by strategic planners, or the exaggerated threats from political movers, and the woeful forecasts of intellectual shakers.  I was so full of righteous indignation I felt bloated and dour and sad.

Watching a friend lose her way in extraterrestrial philosophies and questionable directives from  guides from the other side, I paused long enough to reevaluate my own beliefs and deal, face to face, with the inflexible judge I had become.

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It was a process.

Just as in childhood, I found myself inching once again toward the back door in an attempt to purge poisons I carried inside.  I thought, ‘perhaps if I fill my lungs with fresh air, or eat an apple in the swing on the front porch, or pick a bouquet of Black-Eyed Susans,’ I might feel better’.  And so I did all of those things and more, binding myself more closely with the cycles of nature and the rhythmic beat of my own heart , mindful of the emotional and mental chaos I’d created in the past and how unsatisfying the experience had been.

peaceful garden

I won’t say I killed the judge inside my soul, but I let her fade away.   I am an observer now; judging nothing, not even myself.

When I choose to watch the evening news and hear the ranting and ravings of judgmental zealots, a sense of calm fills my senses, and I feel the good intentions and the fear inside each loud voice.  I make mental notes about where they are standing, which audience they are addressing, the time of day they speak, lapel pins, the shapes of glasses they wear, and the voices of reporters trying to make names for themselves.

Adults are often little more than large children and that can go either way because a child can engage or detach as he sees fit, but when all of the pieces of the puzzle come together, it is a magnificent occasion.

These days I spend more time paying attention to what other people say.  I love hearing their ideas and opinions; I love reading what they are thinking and how they disseminate unique perspectives and personal views. I learn so much as I immerse myself in both studied and unexplored concepts.  More and more, I spend time reading non-fiction, opinion pieces, and most especially blogs.  The passion and sincerity bloggers express touches my heart.?????????????????????????????????????????????

Every time I experience the strength of another person’s voice, my own grows; but I’m not in love with the sound of my own voice.  My own opinions don’t impress me either.  I often find it difficult to express them now.  Blogging has become more challenging as I struggle to share without preaching.  I’ve learned that listening is an integral part of observation.  So is keeping an open mind.  The boundaries of my perceptions have seeped or bled into the fluidity of the times freeing my mind to explore new possibilities. I’m happy that I don’t feel responsible for the fate of the entire world. I am finally comfortable in my own skin and at peace with the ever evolving world around me.

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17 Responses to “Retired Judge”

  1. losttaurus February 25, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

    I like this one Mama. I have been learning the practice of being mindful. Trying to just be in the moment without judgement. You would think this would come naturally as it did when we were children, but somewhere along the way, I lost this skill. My kids teach me everyday…thank the universe I have them! Thanks for the inspiring blog today.

    • ittymac February 25, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

      Well, thank you, honey. That makes the effort worthwhile. We never stop learning from our children! Thank goodness 😊

  2. Archita February 25, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

    I observe; I don’t judge, or debate. It’s good that way, for me. I have realized, this way I get better. 🙂 Your posts are always thought-provoking. By the way, I wanted to know if you are doing well. I was worried after reading your last post. Take care.

    • ittymac February 25, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

      I’m doing well..recovering from triple bypass surgery. Thank you for asking. 😊

      • Archita February 25, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

        I thought so. After the last post, I did not find you reading my posts, or posting anything on your blog for a while. I was worried, so prayed for you. I’m so happy to read your post and comment now. Feel better. *Hugs*

      • ittymac February 25, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

        I was in ICU for 10 days and after that it was pretty challenging, but I am improving daily, pushing myself in a good way, and getting back into life. I appreciate your prayer; the healing energy of love makes all things possible. Thank you, my friend.

      • Archita February 25, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

        I understand completely, 10 days in ICU and post life after that. I’m wishing you a speedy recovery.

      • ittymac February 25, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

        😊

  3. Claudia Anderson February 25, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

    This was a very thoughtful and intense blog. One I am going to copy and paste and reread once I’m off line. I love the way you write, the way you think. I want to get to the point of not judging anymore, too. Cut off the critic, the cynic, the daydreamer. I want to do what I can when I can, and let go of the rest. I didn’t know you had bypass…taking care of yourself and your soul is all that counts at the moment. And darling — you write and preach any time you want! It’s like a pot — it will explode sooner or later if the steam isn’t released. I love your writing no matter WHAT you write.

    • ittymac February 25, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

      Claudia, that’s the sweetest comment. I’d been very sick for a long time but put off the cath until I’d gotten Rick through his cervical spine surgery…after he came home I took care of him for 3 weeks…by then the symptoms were nearly unbearable…i had an emergency cath followed by a triple bypass and a Maze procedure to correct my afib…long road home..but its all good. I’m very very lucky. The entire left side of my heart had a 99% blockage. Both Rick and I are doing great.

  4. 2ndhalfolife February 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    Lovely and insightful as always. A good book I’m reading now that grasps some of these concepts: 12 Steps To A Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong…. love as always, me

    • ittymac February 27, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

      Your support is important to me. 😊

  5. Grandparent Support March 1, 2015 at 4:31 am #

    What a gem of a blog to come across, would love to reblog some of your posts, full of observational wisdom, what a gift to the world you are, keep well and may your voice be carried on the angelic wings and strings of the world wide web!

    • ittymac March 1, 2015 at 10:42 am #

      I’m happy you visited my ittyMac blog, and thrilled
      you found satisfaction in what you read there. I too enjoyed exploring and reading your Grandparent Support site. I applaud your efforts to serve others using personal experience as a source of information and as encouragement to form strong healthy family relationships. I’m honored you shared my post and grateful for having made new friends in the UK.

  6. Grandparent Support March 1, 2015 at 4:33 am #

    Reblogged this on Grandparent Support and commented:
    some times a good read is all you need to lift you up…enjoy

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