Big changes and choosing a slower life pace.

Photo by Jarod Lovekamp on Pexels.com

I’m slowing down as the world seems to be speeding up with frantic ideas and last grabs at fortune and power. It seems, and this is only my opinion, that most people are very divided and hysterical about their opinions these days.

I feel safer being at home and keeping my family close by. I feel peaceful when I keep most of the outside world at a distance.

A big topic is “can we create our own world?” It seems we need permission to not participate in this day and age. So many will tell you, “you need to be realistic” or “can’t put your head in the sand” or “I need to know what’s going on around me” and they look at you as if you are an idiot for not wanting to watch the news.

News used to be on once a day at 5:30. Adults watched it before dinner and then discussed it at dinner. Now news starts at 4:00 and goes for 3 hours. It’s dramatic and over discussed. Everyone has an opinion, including the newscasters. News is on every social media outlet…it’s on my yahoo mail when I delete my inbox, all the articles pop up. News channels want views and what better way then to inundate every outlet and to sensationalize it to the extreme to get those views.

People are capitalizing on fear. Fear sells. Horror sells. Violence sells. I see “survival!” “Prepping for when SHTF!” and “Get ready for the end!” everywhere. Sadly, even the channels that used to be about spiritual healing and light now talk about conspiracy theories and “what the government doesn’t want you to know!”

Now, all these theories may be true to an extent, but I just can’t get on this train. I mean, if you were at the train station and they asked you, “would you like to take this lovely, clean train through a gorgeous valley of forest and lakes and visit charming towns or take this dilapidated, dirty train through ghettos and burnt out cities and dump sites?” Which would you choose? I’ll take scenic please.

So, I think the same about politics and news. I will be voting and I do put my money in areas I support and want to see thrive, I do make positive choices for the environment and animals and we, as a family, work daily to become better stewards of the land and ecosystem. But do we have to roll in the sh– with everyone else?

I’m working on creating sanctuaries everywhere; the house, the land, my channel, my blog. I want people to enter these places and feel safe and happy, to stay for a bit and eat warm scones and sip creamy coffee.

Speaking of the outside world, we are no longer fostering. I know many of you have been wondering and respectfully not asking.

Little Miss has been placed in a home that will support reunification but is also able and willing to adopt. There is another baby on the way from the mother (we didn’t find this out until a couple months in) and CPS prefers to keep siblings together. I agree with this. Sometimes a sibling is all the child has in the way of family after all is said and done. We had talked it over as a family and every day was filled with split emotions and wants in an ongoing debate regarding our ability and desire to adopt and taking on an infant.

In the end, not everyone in the family was on board with adopting and taking on an infant. The social worker and I decided it best to place the little girl in a home that would be permanent if that is how things turned out (and it was looking that way) and willing to take the baby when it arrived, if that needed to happen as well.

I’m happy to say, I met the new family and they couldn’t have been more perfect for Little Miss. She now has a grandmother and older sister that told me she had waited for this little sister forever. The older girl brought her an Elsa doll the day they met (which is LM’s favorite character and who she wants to be for Halloween). They will be sharing a very pink room (another thing LM said she wanted for her future home, a pink bedroom) and she will no longer have to sleep alone. I believe that we were meant to be the transistionary family for LM but we were not a fit long term. This family is perfect for the rest of her long journey to a good life.

CPS has asked us to consider being on call for emergency and temporary placements. Our foster agency has asked that we consider putting the licence on hold instead of just quitting. We did some wonderful work with Little Miss and she thrived in our home. The social worker and CPS workers witnessed the transformation. I just don’t know if I’m cut out for this work.

It doesn’t take much. A safe home that is also cozy, good and healthy foods, routines and rituals so a child knows what is always coming next and at what times of the day. I would play children’s music all the time and we did fun, healing things like long walks in the forest, having kind people over for playdates, movies and popcorn nights, and she had a sweet school to look forward to.

However, no matter how much I read and thought I was prepared, you never are until you dive into the life. At first I was thrilled to have a little girl in my home, then the work began. Long nights of carrying her around and comforting her, talking in the wee hours, making toast at one in the morning, watching Pinkalicious late into the night. I had no idea how to help this child adjust to a completely new life and away from her mother. I was hard core with cleaning and keeping organized which did help with having more time to focus on her but the sink full of dishes did finally return as I threw in the towel.

After 5 weeks of no sleep I created routines. Not rigid schedules but rituals that helped us all calm down and feel safe. I created sacred spaces for all the children where they could go to be left alone or feel they had some control over their life and spaces. We started going to bed early and there were many time outs for all of us until we could learn to be patient and respectful. I learned a whole new level of mothering in that time. Little Miss changed us and we helped her transform. She was very joyful and willing. She began to have a vision of a better life. I would say to her, “you want a good life, a happy life…what does that look like?” She would say, “A fancy room! A pink room! A safe house like this, a good mom like you Mama Cake.” She called me Mama Cake to the end. She knew we were not right for her. The boys got on her nerves and she got on theirs but they did play a lot and the boys matured so much. She was very attached to me and I did enjoy all the girly things I don’t get with my boys.

It was a hard decision but I feel good about it. And I am not sure I will want to foster ever again. The child was the easy part. How the work takes over your life was not something we were prepared for. It is, as Arjan said one morning about a month into it, “an energy suck”. Our schedule went from clear to packed full of appointments, school, visits, calls, pick ups and drop offs. Our house had visitors from the Casa worker to the social worker weekly. My phone was dinging with text messages or ringing with calls for the child or to make plans for the child.

When we took Little Miss to her new family I felt good about them immediately and she was very excited. I feel she just knew intuitively they were “the ones”. She jumped into their car and never looked back.

I have to say I felt a bit deflated and blue that night. It felt as if we gave everything for three months, gave up our lives, literally, to heal and support that little one and her mother and in the end we did succeed in getting the girl prepared for the next leg of her journey but it was like we no longer existed once the transition was made. There was no proper goodbye. I was busy talking to the new parents, I had written them a 5 page letter on LM’s routines, all her likes, needs, dislikes, habits. Arjan had a proper goodbye, but by the time I had discussed things with the new father, sister, and mother, LM was tucked away in the car and backs were turned as they all huddled with the social worker to discuss visits and the future schedules. We were dismissed.

We drove off feeling incomplete. That night the house was quiet and all her energy was gone. We sat awkwardly not knowing if we really missed her or just needed time to return to our normal state or being.

The good news is that we quickly returned to our normal life and it was even better than before because we had a new level of gratitude and all of us had grown in that time with LM.

I am so relieved to clear my monthly calendar, to have a silent phone. I’m also grateful to get all that energy out of my house. Some may not understand this, but most of you will. We all are surrounded by energy. It is all we think, feel and take in through the day or life. When LM came to me she had been marinating in some really depressing energies from her surroundings. Every social worker, CPS worker, and Casa worker spends their days dealing with people suffering from mental illness, depression, addictions, poverty consciousness, abuse, neglect. They marinate in those energies. All that came into my home almost daily. I truly liked everyone I worked with but I could feel the sadness of their work and my heart was very heavy over the three months. As LM healed and thrived it was easier to digest but always there.

After we ended that work I opened all the windows, turned up the good music, saged the house several times, brewed a lot of coffee, had neighbors over for breakfast. The heaviness dissipated and the happiness returned.

So, we asked ourselves, “how to we be of service to humanity?” Is it through devoting ourselves to a child or two? Or can I better serve through my writing and channel? I can reach thousands. The answer came to me in the garden yesterday as I harvested the last of some very sad looking greens and tiny tomatoes. I can serve better if I love what I do. And I love sharing, supporting, inspiring, through my writing and the channel.

Through my work I can shine a light, create a safe and happy place for others and still keep my home sacred for just my family. We can keep our home separate from the world but still reach out to those that want to be with us.

The biggest lesson I learned from this experience was this; Everything you bring into your home, your reality…will affect you and more than likely, it will affect you deeply. You can learn from every event but at what cost?

When I was fostering, I began having issues with my stomach, angina (which makes you feel like you’re having a mini stroke), and one subscriber said she saw the sadness in my eyes. I felt heavy emotionally. I was very serious during that time. I also noticed everything around us was getting weird. I had issues with my work and writers block. For some this fostering work is placed in their hearts and they excel at it. Each of us has a calling and we know when it is our true destiny because we enjoy the work, no matter how hard and grueling, we love it at the end of the day and we derive a deep satisfaction.

With writing, making videos, and blogging I have had long hours, read and researched endlessly, dealt with trolls and awful reviews, I have started work at 3:00 in the morning and worked sometimes until 1:00 in the morning. But I loved every minute of it. The mistakes, the good,ugly, and failures. That is how you know you are in the right work.

I like that the channel is small now, the blog is a little gathering…I recognize everyone on there and it’s a community that has devotedly followed me from my burning down one site and rebuilding another new one. I will work hard to serve all of you to the best of my ability.

And the whole objective is “Yes, we can create our own world!” We can thrive and heal, be joyful and healthy in today’s world with all it’s fires, riots, insanities, and political mayhem. It’s just history in the making.

64 thoughts on “Big changes and choosing a slower life pace.

  1. Wow! What a powerful blog. Thanks for being honest and real. I read every word, and it made me ponder my own home environment and what I am trying to create, protect and preserve for my immediate family.

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  2. Ive been a YouTube subscriber of yours for about 2 years now. This is the first time that I’ve come over to your blog and not surprised at my instant attachment ! LOL. So happy to hear that you’re feeling better. That is a lot especially for people that take in all the energies. Im the same way! I always thing of that Mother Theresa quote: “If you want to bring happiness to the world, go home and love your family.”

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  3. I find your videos and blog two of the most peaceful places I can be at this moment in time. I’m behind in my reading of your blog and I would like to change that soon. Thank you for coming back. Having a foster child is a huge responsibility if done right. I had two cousins in foster care…still don’t know why my parents didn’t take them in…but they were not treated well if they were to be believed…they were young so I believed them. I was young too and had no say in the matter. With the way the world is now, we have to first and foremost take care of ourselves and our own families. If there is time, resources and energy left, then yes give as much as you can. Our home…which we love…is our sanctuary. I live in Massachusetts with my husband and our state continues to be a hot mess with this Covid thing. Much of the eastern part of our state…well, we are packed in like sardines. I was born here and our town was not always like that. It’s become known as a “happening hood”. Great for the pre-Covid economy, now it’s status just brings strangers into our town and whatever it is they bring with them in the way of germs. We drive down Main Street and are amazed at people who have chosen to go out on the town. Not all young either..many older folks. Trust me we are as they say “bored in the house and we’re in the house bored” but we are safe here and it’s where we stay. Walmart pickup has been our way of getting our food and we are so thankful they make it so easy. We were just blessed with our first grandchild, a beautiful little girl…just over a month ago. She lives two towns away and we get to look at her every weekend. We have not held her, kissed or hugged her or even touched her for that matter. But hopefully in time that can change. These are not complaints, just facts. We are all healthy (physically not so sure about mentally) and careful and that is all that matters right now. One day at a time. Up until the Oregon fires, I had stopped watching the news completely when Covid started. Our son and his girlfriend and new pup are in Portland and we are worried. They will be making their way back this way soon and that will ease our minds. I just pray they find a fire free route to get out. Stay safe Kate.

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  4. I think you needed to be there for LM but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be there for other children in the same capacity. You are right that energy attaches itself to others and it goes where they go and they leave it behind. I have a close personal relationship that depletes me HARD every time I am near that person. It’s so draining that I often take a week to recover from it.

    I knew it would be difficult for you to let go of her, even though it felt right at that time to do so. It’s part of who you are to invest yourself heavily into a child, much less a hurting one. And it’s okay to never do this again.

    I worked in a nursing home for five years in various capacities, the last two as social worker and admissions. I got attached. People died. I grew more and more depressed. It was a good nursing home, clean and well kept and the people who worked there were invested in being family/friend/advocate to the patients we housed but eventually the emotional toll on myself was too much, especially given the circumstances I’d been through in my personal life at the same time. I was GOOD at my job. I Knew it. Everyone who met me in that capacity knew it. But I was dying in it at the end because of my own emotional depletion. When it was time to leave that position I had a difficult time, and even though I had other facilities seek me out to ask if I’d work i their place I knew I could never do that work again.

    Gracious….I will try not to be so vocal in reading the next two posts…but I told you, you’ve got me thinking!

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  5. What a beautiful post, you’re writing is always so heartfelt. I have been reading your old blog for years and just stumbled upon this one but I could tell it was you instantly. Thank you for continuing and letting us in on your journey. I have rarely replied in the past but have enjoyed your posts immensely. When I take my walks a lot of times I’m thinking of your latest post and pondering it. My husband and I have been contemplating some big changes as well, we moved away from our grown sons about a year ago. Well, now we’re going to be grandparents and we regret the time we spent away from them so we’re moving back! Thankfully, blogs like yours show me some great ideas to keep things simple as we make this move.

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