Boom or Bust in the mountains

Being in a new relationship the second time around is so interesting in my 50’s.   I have heard people call their first marriage their “starter marriage”.  By their second marriage they are determined to live the lessons they learned from the first.  To show up differently in their next relationship.

Since moving to the mountain we have bought a crock pot.  We have tried to make lamb stew and beef bourgeois.  I do feel like a new wife who wants her husbands belly to be happy.    I myself like cooking and chopping and drinking and nibbling more than I like eating the end result.  Suffice to say I am an ok cook but not great.

So I decided to go to a local bookstore to get a crock pot cookbook.  I ventured out in Breckenridge and found a great used bookstore run by two young guys.  I asked them about cookbooks, they led me to a back room and pointed to piles of books on the floor.  “These are all our cookbooks”.   I said I was looking for a slow cooker cookbook.   One young guy pulled out the “fix it and forget it” cookbook, I flipped through it.  It was mostly ingredients like velveta and cream of mushroom soup.  I opted for the classic vintage crockpot cookbook titled Mable Hoffman Crockery cookery from 1975, it used whole ingredients.

I went home and cooked beef bourgeois as per her recipe and it turned out great. It seems that at altitude more flour and water is needed. My fiancé seemed super happy and we ate it once with french crusty bread and once with pasta.   I forget that if something is not sealed and in the fridge it goes rock hard within an hour or two.  Welcome to thin dry air in the Colorado mountains.

I think about women who married gold miners here in the 1800’s what kind of life they must have had.  No running water, and a wood stove.  One woman who owns a clothing store told me that her space used to be a bathhouse in the 1860s.  She said that gold miners would come down the mountain and take a bath on one side of the store, and then buy chocolates on the other side of the store for their sweetheart.

We live right in the gold-rush town.  “Downtown” consists of 4,500 permanent residents, with 160,000 tourists that arrive over the winter season to ski. The town  becomes a ghost town on April 23rd when the mountain closes.  Boom or Bust.

Goddess of letting go

Dhumavati is the hindu goddess of letting go.  We are told we can invoke this goddess to help us navigate disappointment, and to discover the freedom in letting go.

Letting go is not something we are taught.  It is a skill we observe in our parents  assuming they are able to let go.

My mother hung onto everything and guarded her belongings.  “Grasping” was a word that comes to mind.

My father was interesting, he was a collector who had 3 of everything just in case.  He grew up in the depression.  He would swing between hording, and letting go of everything.

One day I came home and my mother was furious.  My father had given away the silverware, so we had nothing to eat dinner with.

As a child growing up in the British Air Force, we were forced to let go of the idea of home.  We moved countries every 2 years.  As a kid I intuitively knew not to get too attached to friends, objects, or placse as it would be gone when we moved.

Deep inside me I know I yearned to attach to something.  I had no idea that I could build a “home” inside myself.

Now I find myself in a state of relinquishment, choosing to let go-for love.

How much would you give up for love?

Would you leave your country?

Would you leave your work?

Would you leave your friends?

Would you leave the familiar?

I have a good friend who is now 58, and is seriously seeking love.  His criterion is that a women lives within 30 mintues drive of him.  He is not willing to drive beyond that for love.  Does that not limit his options?  What if his perfect match lived 2 hours away?

How often do we get attached to a fixed outcome, and cling to it.   Then we get angry when something else shows up that does not match our vision.

How do we surrender to the life that is right in front of us?

 

 

A different world inside….

When you get to a certain age you have fewer years in front of you than behind you.  You can stop and evaluate your life.

I believe that the first 50 years of my life I have spent trying to figure the world out, trying to figure life out.  Working very hard to manage life to get what I want.  I have spent all my energy wanting to understand motivations, people and systems.

Now I feel I am moving into the heart phase of my life.  Letting go of the need to know, letting go of the insistence of understanding the world and people.  Letting go of the hard work to constantly quantify people and experiences.

As a child I thought that if I understood and had knowledge it would protect me and keep me safe from the outside world.

As an adult I know…….

Most of the universe is unknowable.

So much of life is a mystery.

When I focus on needing to know, needing to understand; I narrow my bandwidth for the divine to flow in.  I can only know what is in front of me.

The next 30 years I want to spend experiencing the mystery of life.

I want to flow rather than understand.

I want to love rather than evaluate.

I want to discriminate rather than assess.

I want to share the love that I came here to share, for myself and others around me.

If we all did this we would have a very different world!

“Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

~ Brené Brown

swimming upstream

Today we sat by the Breckenridge river, at the french bakery here in town. As the days of september get shorter and cooler brook trout and brown trout attempt to go upstream to spawn.

We sat and watched the brown trout in the stream, as the water rushed downhill.  There were two culverts dumping water into lower lying land.  We watched fish trying to jump up to higher ground, going against the rushing water.  They attempted to leap the 5 ft gap.

Their jumps seemed like futile attempts, but they kept trying. These fish were my teachers today…I asked myself:

How much energy do I put into futile endeavours?

How much energy do I put into swimming upstream?   For example trying to do it my way rather than surrender and trust the universe.

Everything flows downstream….I have been swimming upstream all my life, resisting the flow, resisting life.  Letting my mind and ego run the show until it no longer works.

Now is the time to let go and flow.

Learning to Settle

After surviving the winter as a new immigrant.  Spring came then Summer, along with my work permit and my SSN.  All of a sudden I could open a bank account, get a driver’s license and access to money.

Finally I am here.  I shipped all of my sentimental belongings to Rick my new husband as “gifts” through UPS.  I have no belongings left in Canada.  No longer straddling two countries I finally feel like I have landed here.

I think back to my parents who emigrated to Canada from England at 42 with 3 kids. I remember my mother saying “it takes a year to stop hating a new country”.  I thought she was ridiculous  at the time.  Perhaps she was right.   I am two months away from my one year mark, and I am just finally settling in, realising I live here and that I am yes married.

We have taken to hiking in the mountains first thing in the morning.   At 2pm each day it rains for an hour and clears up in time for happy hour.  The climate is perfection, 75 degrees and with a soft wind.  Perfect for hiking into the mountain woods with our curious Husky and our little Eskimo/Papillon dog.

For a ski town, the tourists don’t stop in the summer. Farmers markets, craft shows, food and wine shows, paddleboards, tumble bubble,s and multiple hikes make this a summer play land.

I am starting to love hiking.  In my past I never had the fitness, or energy to hike the trails.  I have met many women on the trails with injuries who told me they are “trying to get their power back”.  Perhaps that is what I am doing in these mountains, learning to get my power back.  In the trauma of sudden loss I forgot who I was, each step I take I start to reclaim my energy, reclaim my joy, and reclaim my power.

 

The Healer

I went to a Deva Primal concert in Boulder.   It was amazing.  She asked us to turn to someone beside us and chant to each other.  I chanted with a women whose eyes were clear, and  her heart was open.

In the break we chatted.  I told her she had such a great spirit. I asked if she was a healer.  She said “I don’t call myself that.”  I asked what do you do?  She said she did Reiki.  I said “so you are a healer”.   She said “if I use that word healer it implies that the person lying on the table is broken.  I don’t see my clients as broken.  I see them as whole.  What I do is bring through the I am energy, to help them remember their wholeness.”

I really appreciated this conversation.  It made me think how often I hold someone as broken in my mind? Are we not limiting the other person by how we hold them energetically?  If I think of someone as broken, am I helping them break out of their box?  Or am I energetically joining with them, to reinforce what is not working.

How often do we hold ourselves as broken, focusing on our own deficits.  When we do this we are energetically reinforcing the walls around heart.

What if we started connecting to our wholeness internally.  Consciously connecting to the part of us that is already is complete a few times a day.  How would my life change?  How would the world change, if we all spend time each day, connecting to our existing wholeness rather than focus on what needs fixing.

 

 

Its not nuclear war

It’s not nuclear war, we are just trying to get health insurance!

This is the cry of my fiance as he is attempting to get me on his health insurance policy.

He puts me on the phone with the insurance broker, who tries to pretend he is my friend.  After a little small talk about how he wishes he was Canadian because of our abundance of water and health care.   He proceeds to investigate me and my health history.   I tell him about my surgeries 2 years ago. His response “well I am not sure we are in the clear”.  I told him “it sounds like we are going to war.” He laughed and said well we have a 2 year window on surguries.  Oh ok.

My next step? to be investigated by the underwriter and then to be verified.

Douglas our insurance broker tells me its all about risk and assessing risk.

I start to wonder if we approached relationships focused on risk how many of us would date or fall in love again?

Crazy US world.

Relationship Flashbacks and Mud season

After the initial romantic fling ends, the domestic partnership begins.

Last night my fiance brought out a wood spatula to show me how the rice had been baked on in the dishwasher, and informed me “it needs to be scrubbed before it goes into the dishwasher”.

“Oh I see” as he waved it in front of me while I was reading the New York times weekend edition.

Then came the muffin pan, “you really need to wash these by hand you know” .

“Oh ok”

“I am not nagging you, I just want us to be a good cleaning team”.

“Oh ok”

When did we transition from passionate romance to being a good cleaning team?  Yes it has been a long winter in the mountains.  And the snow continues.

We are now officially in mud season.   This means that the ski hills have closed April 23rd, but the snow continues to fall.

The restaurants and cafe’s that were packed are now empty.  Most people have closed up shop and gone on vacation for 2 weeks.

We were initially excited for mud season that lasts from April 23-June.  We thought finally, we can get a table in some of the really nice restaurants like Relish, Twist and Hearthstone, that are always packed with a 1-2 hour waiting list.

Now we go to these gorgeous restaurants and they are closed till May 29th.  Even our favourite sushi restaurant does not reopen till June.

I understand that businesses need a break before the summer tourists arrive to hike, bike and rock climb the mountains.  Suddenly the only people left are the few locals that are too poor to take an exotic vacation.

Our beloved yoga teacher hurt her back, but the chiropractor and the accupuncturist are away, and will be back after mud season- so suck it up.

My fiance just came back with dinner and told me the hot local news.  The city has just hired a new housing authority, as housing is in short supply in the mountains.  The successful candidate has just turned down the job, because he can’t find affordable housing here.

Well no cleaning team tonight, take out fish and chips from Murphy’s irish pub, and a Netflix movie, who says romance is dead?

Braving the golf ball hail, waiting for spring…..