Welcome to Serene Women

living harmony in a chaotic world

The Second Christmas

I  have been really sad today, Christmas Eve Day.  This is the second Christmas without Bob.  I wonder if I was still numb last Christmas and that this is the first “feeling” Christmas?  I have done so many things to grieve, grow, and graduate from this process.  I...

What’s in a Name?

I have been thinking a lot about the blogs here in Serene Women.  At the moment there are two; Loss: Hole to Whole and Evolving Serenity.  I have wondered what to do with them.  I was considering suspending them for a while; a novel, or at least a long short story,...

Being Thankful, Being Community

Thanks to Seth Godin (whose blog I follow) I don’t have to write much today.  He offered a piece a few days ago and included a Thanksgiving Reader.  http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2015/11/thanksgiving-reminder.html  There are two things on the site a button...

Collecting My Teams

Today I visited with a dear friend who I do not visit nearly often enough.  The visit was filled with the ordinary — knitting, health, children, dreams, frustrations.  Whenever we visit I remember that we need to do it more often.Then I came home to have a repairman...

Joe and His Homework

The gentle waves rolled in and brought a jubilant ten-year-old with them.  Joe’s smile was bigger than his face. He ran out to the next wave and jumped high just as it started to break.  Joe loved the beach!  He ran over to his parents and flopped on the blanket. ...

If work were considered worship …

This is a Kitchen Table Discussion -- that means we need to discuss back and forth.  I look forward to your comments.There is a wonderful quote about work done in a spirit of service being worship.  I love to fantasize about what things like that might mean if we took...

An Announcement and a Story (Mary and Sissily)

November is National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short.  It is a challenge for writers to write 1667 words a day so that they will have a novel of 50,000 words by the end of the month.  I took up the challenge with a bit of a twist.  I am writing a variety of...

Clutter, Productivity, and Contentment

I love my sitting room!  It has everything I want and need in it.  Bob feels close when I am in it.  He built the house, some of the furniture, and is reflected in the artwork.  It is a comfortable and loving place for me.This wonderful room also doubles as my work...

A Little Shift

I hate these raging hormones.  When my hormones rage, my control goes out the window.  I think I am in big trouble.  This baby is due in a week.Ever since I got pregnant, every time I have changed I have become this overweight welder guy!  That is not supposed to...

Road Trip Lessons

I just got back from a trip to my brother’s.  Saw my niece and her husband and her new baby, my nephew, and my brother and sister-in-law.  It was a great visit!  From my home to my brother’s home is about 850 miles. That is a long drive.At the end of the drive on day...

Learnings to date

As I have passed the year and half mark of Bob’s death, what have I learned?  It has been a rough road but it has had some fruits — some are sweet, some are bittersweet, some never ripened, and some are rotten!  Here are some of the learnings.I have discovered Qigong...

Whose Circle Is It?

Whose Circle Is It?  As I have been working to create a new life since Bob died, this question and some of its corollaries have been on my mind.  After a partner dies it is so easy to feel not whole.  The other day I read a better image.  The gist of the article was...

The Fall Equinox

The idea of following the seasons in how we eat and how we live seems to be gaining a little traction in my circles.  Since today is the Fall Equinox, thinking about what it would mean to live with the Seasons seems appropriate.I am new to looking at Seasonal...

A Face Wreathed with Smiles and a Radiant Countenance

Feel free to go get a cup of tea or coffee and let's have a chat.  Maybe a ginger scone, too.  Two things I love — “a face wreathed with smiles” and “a radiant countenance.”  I recognize these when I see them and I am usually attracted to the person owning that face. ...

Keeping the Gifts Moving

The first thing I read this morning was “Paying it Forward: Why Our Gifts Always Keep Moving" by Wayne Muller (http://www.dailygood.org/story/1136/paying-it-forward-why-our-gifts-always-keep-moving-wayne-muller/).And last night I decided that the first task of today...

Beating on Walls

“Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ” ― Coco Chanel   I don’t know much about Coco Chanel except that her perfume #5 is luscious and she created really classy clothes.  Evidently, she was also a wise woman. How much of my life...

Sweet Tea and Moon Pies

The fairies were always troublesome at this time of year.  Sometimes they just seemed to wreak havoc with the sheep and then the dogs went crazy.  Sometimes they stole the mail.  Sometimes they let the air out of the tires.  But Mark and Marisa seemed to have a truce...

Labels

We can attach so much meaning to a word. I was reading something in which someone called “Widow” a label.  By extension, then, so is “Single.”  That got me to thinking about the difference between the words and whether there was a difference between “widow” and...

You mean I have to cook?

After 71 years I am finally putting some things together, and I must say, I am not pleased. I have fought with food for most of my life.  Actually that is not true; food and I are way too friendly - it is the weight that I have been fighting with.  The fight started...

Grief is Weird

This grief stuff is weird.  I’ve just passed the 17 month point since Bob died and usually life is easier.  I have lots of days that have lots of joy in them; and lots that have lots of tears.  And it is so inconsistent. I am enjoying writing and teaching Qigong...

Cost, Income, and Transparency

I was impressed with a blog, The Becoming Minimalist Business Model (http://www.becomingminimalist.com/business/), by Joshua Becker.  In it he described how his site earns money and how he works his day.  As a person newly interested in blogging, it was enlightening. ...

The Triple Spiral

I saw this image on Heather Plett’s site (http://heatherplett.com/story-stones/) and it stopped me in my tracks - well more accurately it stopped my mouse from scrolling. I wanted this stone! I have tried to think about why I liked it and came up with the following...

Palace or Cottage?

"For serenity, always prefer the cottage to the palace!”    ― Mehmet Murat ildan Quotes almost always make me think.  Some quotes help me see connections between things that were not connected for me before I read the quote.  The quote above is one of these quotes. I...

People and Stained Glass Windows

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross What a wonderful description of a serene woman (or man). Both...

The New Logo

You may have noticed that we have a new logo. We think it is gorgeous - simple, elegant, a little playful - just what we want this site to be. After we decided we wanted a swan for a logo we went to a book about animal spirits to see what swan represents. We were...

Rings, Again

Since Bob died rings have been a constant in my life. What to do with them, which to wear, what do they mean - lots of questions. Some friends, I suspect, think I am obsessed with the symbolism of the rings. For me they are not jewelry - they are symbols and I have...

Truthfulness

“Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues.” That quote has always caused me to pause. For anything to be “the foundation of all human virtues” is pretty amazing. And wouldn’t we want to get good at something that was so foundational? Generally I think of...

Kitchen Table Discussions

I love a good discussion. It starts my engine revving, leads to new thoughts, stretches my comfort zone, and almost always teaches me something. And often leads to new friends! I want that with all of you, my dear readers. Every so often I will post something to start...

How do you get Guidance?

Most of my life has just happened to me - or so that is how I have always thought about it. Seeing how blessed I have been in so many areas of life, I suspect random happenings are not the cause of my good fortune. I must have been following Guidance. I capitalize...

Hats

She took the delicately formed key from the top of the crystal cabinet and unlocked the door. She had already gathered her mother’s and her grandmother’s favorite hats and two mirrors from the dressing tables. Now she gathered teapots, plates and tea cups. She set the...

The Key and the Mirror

The key was driving him crazy. It fit perfectly into the middle of the mirror. Who in their right mind made a key out of mirrored glass? And it was the third key they had found. They were all hidden in odd places in the old house and they all fit into the mirror. She...

Another Transition

Transitions are always interesting. I’ve written before about the transition from Married to Widow; this one is different. That one was not a choice. This one is a choice. I get to think about it, play with the idea, see how it fits, decide if I like it. The other is...

Rituals

In my Faith there are almost no institutionalized rituals and I like that - and I like rituals. What is the difference? For me, the institutionalized rituals I have experienced over my life lost their meaning easily. I had to work really hard to remember and to focus...

A Hole in Her Pants

I was following a suggestion to just write about whatever I noticed. The first thing I noticed at a coffee shop was that the woman ahead of me had a small rip on the back of her slacks right beside the pocket button. This is what the came out of my head and onto the...

Starting – Too Early or Too Late

“Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre This describes a dilemma in my new life. I am 71. I do not come from a line of long-lived people. My age would be a great excuse not to start some new adventures. I ask...

Blanket Forts

What is it about a blanket fort? Kids love them and I see adults looking for reasons to join their kids in the fort. Forts made from sheets, blankets, sofa cushions, or actual bed tents have always been part of my kids and grandkids lives. I guess that might be a...

Completion of a Lesson?

I doubt if the big lessons in life are ever completed, but there is a point where they can stop - like an essay test when you know you could write more, but you decide that you have done enough to answer the question. I am wondering if that is where I am on this...

No Erasers

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. John W. Gardner With no eraser everything counts. Whatever one puts on the page has to stay there. Of course we know this is true in life - whatever happened in our lives happened. And all of those happenings stay with us....

Father’s Day #2

Father’s Day fifteen months after Bob died. This has been an odd day. My daughter is just (late afternoon) getting home from a conference that she and her family attended. My son is at his home with his family. I wished the Dads in both families a happy Father’s Day...

How do you have fun at 71

Some things in life are pretty basic - eating, sleeping, moving. I do all of those to one degree or another, but something that I have lost over the years is knowing how to play. How does a 71 year old play? Hopscotch is out - at least for the moment. Tag has...

The Rooster and the Dragon

As I sit here and look up at the rooster on the shutter to the right and the dragon on the shutter to the left, I am comforted.  The dragon’s iridescent wings almost always make me smile and the rooster’s golden beak and wildly colored tail just plain give him...

Rules, Who Needs Them

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” —Somerset Maugham I read this on the blog, The Write Practice, and it rang of truth - well beyond writing. There are three rules for living a spiritual life …. There are three...

The Bridge: Year 1 to Year 2

About a week before Bob’s birthday (March 7) I knew that it was time to take my “vow” ring off.  It now sits safely in my jewelry box with our wedding bands.  Wearing it or our wedding bands since he died has felt like an anchor; something to keep me out of danger. ...

Jan, I would like you to meet Meg

In this grieving process a few smiles have surfaced.  I think Meg is responsible. I was born Margaret Jan Walter.  I have always been called Jan.  When I was thinking up a more 1750’s name for my reenacting personae, I chose Meg (from Margaret).  I liked the idea of...

A Quiet Saturday Afternoon

This afternoon has been difficult and I don’t know why.  This morning was a wonderful - my first session teaching Qigong to a group of friends, then some tea and cookies.  We had pleasant conversation, an appropriate interlude with Zia, and then they left.  I...

Things I Learned from my Grandsons

If you smile at people, they will smile back. Smiles will get you most anything! If you hug people, they will hug back. If you see a pile of pillows and stuffed animals you should fall on them and roll around gleefully. If you see pillows and stuffed animals, you...

The Mystery Poem

Bob left us with one huge mystery. Two days after Bob died, I was looking for his wedding band.  Having treated many patients with hand injuries, I asked Bob to stop wearing his wedding band many years ago.  He often worked with power tools and power tools and rings...

Addiction, Rat Park, and Facebook

I have always had a bit of a different way of seeing and putting things together.  For at least several weeks now (probably closer to a few months) I have been quite frustrated with the amount of time I spend on the computer - particularly Facebook.  And I have been...

Theories

Well theories are wonderful things mais non? Full of promise and hope…and then there is reality. I suppose as the aim of this community is to strengthen and deepen the serenity within it will only be through external chaos that the inner state becomes visible. As I am...

Amuse, Entertain, Join and Grow

Amazing how Intentions can be blown before they have even started! I had intended to start this on the first of January, but was ill and too feeble to press the keys. So, here we are now. The purpose of this blog is to amuse, entertain, join and grow with you in...

Thoughts on gifting

I love to receive gifts, and even more love to give them!  But how often have a cringed at that “unique” scarf or platter from some well-meaning soul.  I have seen several people talk about giving experiences rather than things for gifts.  I love the idea.  Give a...

Thoughts on gratitude

Gratitude ties in so directly with our commitment to Simplicity, to see the beauty in simple things can only lead to gratitude for these wonderful beautiful things in our lives. There is also the joy inherent here to be able to see beyond the seemingly ugly,...

The Attitude of Gratitude

As children, please and thank you are two of the first “social graces” we are taught. As we get older they become automatic and may no longer have much meaning. Thank you is a way of expressing gratitude. How do we make that a more deliberate and conscious part of our...

Season of Giving

The season of giving approaches and bank accounts tremor in anticipatory fear! We are pressured, convinced and almost conned by the consumerist society that we inhabit and `buy` into to spend more than we have giving people presents we can’t afford and, perhaps , they...

The start of the journey

In one scream and a wild set of gestures from my son-in-law my life changed.  He found my husband lying on the front porch.  I ran to them and it was clear to me that my husband was dead and had been for a while.  I guess I went into executive mode.  First I called...