Posts Tagged With: last will and testament

Day 353: Where there’s a will, there’s a way

The title is something my mother used to say to me. It’s a good title for today’s post, I think, because I finally completed this:

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I’ve had lots of thoughts and feelings about the process of creating that, during this Year of Living Non-Judgmentally (which I blogged about here, here, and elsewhere).

Here are some thoughts and feelings I’m having, today:

I don’t want to mind-read (because that would be a cognitive distortion), but I do wonder if others are having certain thoughts now, like these:

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“Did you leave ME anything?”

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“I know I’m new, more skittish (therefore more blurry), and probably not quite as loved yet, but … did you leave ME anything?”

I probably AM projecting onto others, here.  But it’s difficult not to do that, you know?

Anyway, it was quite a process, completing that will. I mean, it took 60 friggin’ years. And, as Indiana Jones said:

“It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage.”*

Speaking of mileage, here are some shots I took, yesterday, on my journey to sign that will:

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The building on the left is where my parents lived their last years together.  That’s where I saw my father, for the last time, in 1997. I am so grateful for that encounter, still. Before I left that day, he said to me, “Give me five,” holding his hand up high. I replied, “I’ll give you ten,” and I gave him a hug.

Here’s another, clearer shot of that building:

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My parents lived on the second floor, on the right.

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Here’s where I spent a lot of hours, as a kid, reading and choosing books to take home:

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When I took those books home, this is similar to what I would see:

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And this is where I read those books:

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This is what I sometimes saw, when I would leave my home, back then:

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When I visited yesterday, I did see some new things, including this:

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It’s nice that some people can attain Nirvana every day, isn’t it?

Here’s a photo (taken when I was heading back home last night) that’s related to that, I believe:

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I hope I remember that flashy Stop sign** the next time I have a thought that doesn’t help me.  Because, the more I can let go of unhelpful thoughts, the more I can do these things (suggested by a bumper sticker last night):

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And I’ve got some time to do those, apparently,  because a lawyer promised me, yesterday, that signing my will wouldn’t kill me.

Being a lawyer, he immediately added, “And if it does, at least now you have a will.”

Thanks to all who contributed to creating this post and — of course!! — to you, for visiting.


* I wanted to find a sound or video clip for that, but c’est la vie.

** Check out the antidote of “Thought Stopping,” here.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 327: Will, Part Deux

Six Score and Four Days ago (but who’s counting?), I wrote a post, named “Will,” regarding my last will and testament.

Yesterday, during a day of reflection and self-care, I revisited that topic.

Actually, I’ve been revisiting that topic — in thoughts and deeds — since I wrote that post.  And I’m very close, as I write this, to completing my will.

I don’t know about you, but working on my last will and testament — Also Known As the document that will survive me after I am DEAD — brings up lots of issues for me.    I am aware that I am not alone in that.

This is what I know about completing the Will Process, right now:

  1. I’d like to acknowledge the importance of other people, but not to bother them.
  2. I enjoy surprises, but I’m not sure how other people feel about those.
  3. I am not sure how to deal with #1 and #2, regarding my will.
  4. #3 is okay, because  I don’t have to do a perfect will.  I mean, people will forgive me if they feel slighted or inconvenienced by my will.
  5. And if they don’t forgive me, so what*?  I’ll be dead.**

It’s another gift of mortality!  (See here for more about that.)

Okay! It’s time to end the process of This Post. What’s left undone?

As my loyal readers know, I like to include an image before I end.

However, I didn’t take any photos yesterday. Also, I’ve been noticing a new glitch in WordPress — where some photos that have previously blossomed in their full glory in my posts are now reduced to teensy little images.***

Well, dear readers, I can’t control WordPress, nor your personal operating system and its proclivities for presenting images.

What I CAN control is what I do. And my will is to show you an image, anyway:

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This came in the mail, yesterday.  It’s a ring I’ve been looking for, for a long time.

Thanks to people who like and don’t like surprises, mortal creatures everywhere, and to you — especially — for reading today.


* “So What” is one of my favorite tunes AND it’s an antidote to cognitive distortions.

** I don’t claim to know what happens after we die, but I’m assuming that Worrying About What Others Think will not be a featured activity.

*** If this happens, I hope people know they can refresh the page or click the images to see their full effect.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 290: The Healing Power of Art

Here are some random thoughts — and images — this morning,  about “The Healing Power of Art.”

This is  a piece of art, by Elisa Tenenbaum,  that hangs in my living room (and which appeared in this blog on Day 174: Surprised by Joy).

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I’ve spent a lot of wonderful moments, gazing at that.

Yesterday, when I (finally!) spoke to somebody about my will, that expert suggested that I choose a few special items to leave to specific people.  I immediately thought of Elisa Tenenbaum’s good work.

Also, yesterday, I spoke with another expert, who  specializes in EMDR (“Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy ( as well  as other healing work for people with traumatic memories).

That expert often suggests creating a “container” for difficult-to-manage feelings that might come up during that kind of work.

I’ve written about creating “containers,” for various uses, in this blog before. (For a summary of all of these, see Day 245: Lucky.)

Here’s one container

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for throwing away unhelpful things that other people have said.

Here’s another container

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for holding “emergency messages” that help during times of trouble.

Where was I? Oh, yes. I was writing about a container for difficult-to-manage feelings, that might come up during healing work for past traumatic experiences.

When the expert spoke about this, I immediately thought of this container (front and center, in picture):

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Over the years, I have witnessed a lot of healing, through the creation of art.

Sometimes, that art includes drawings:

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Sometimes, it includes different kinds of art:

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Sometimes, it includes many people, healing together:

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That concludes our blog post for today, ladies and gentlemen.

Thanks to Elisa Tenenbaum (again), Cathy Malchiodi, Kenneth Bruscia, healers  and experts everywhere, and to you, for visiting today.

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* For more about this, see this website: http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/haiti/

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 234: Curiosity, in the moment

At the beginnings of the therapy group sessions I do, I often state what I’m curious about — as a way to invite people to “check-in.”

This is something I often say:

Right now, I’m curious about what’s going on for you in the moment. I’m also curious about anything that might be contributing to how you are feeling and thinking, in the moment.

This morning, after I got up, I “checked-in” with myself that way. That is, I asked myself how I was doing in the moment and what might be contributing to that.

This is what I discovered:

I continue to feel some “uneasiness” when I wake up in the morning. (I wrote about that, early this year.)

It helps to sit in a quiet place and focus, as much a possible, on the present moment — letting all thoughts, feelings, etc. flow through me.

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Yes!  I gave myself “the chair” this morning, sitting mindfully for a short time.

This is what came up for me, when I asked myself what was contributing to how I was feeling in the moment:

  1. Yesterday, for the first time, I met with a lawyer to talk about my will (and other necessary plans regarding my inevitable death).
  2. Geesh, people!  Isn’t that enough?

Of course, there were all sorts of other things contributing to how I was doing in the moment.  Even if I can’t identify all those things (and who can?), it helps to be as aware, in the moment, as much as possible.

Right now, I’m aware that I’d like to end with a photo.

But which one?

How about the last photo I’ve taken, with my trusty-enough iPhone?

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Here are the points I want to make about this photo:

  1. It was taken at Strip-T’s last night, a great — if interestingly named — restaurant in Watertown, MA.
  2. I haven’t been to Strip-T’s since before April (when the outside of the restaurant was another backdrop on CNN news reports, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings).
  3. I wanted to take a photo of these three things at the restaurant, because I loved them all.
  4. To me, the pig on the right looks like it’s saying something to the pig on the left.

Of course, I’m curious about what that might be.

Thanks to Strip-T’s, ceramic pigs, curious creatures everywhere, and to you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 203: Will

The topic for today is the word “will.”

I had many choices from the Google Buffet of Definitions, this morning. I chose the following, from the Merriam Webster site:

will   noun     \ˈwil\

1. : desire, wish: as

a : disposition, inclination <where there’s a will there’s a way>

b : appetite, passion

c : choice, determination

2

a : something desired; especially : a choice or determination of one having authority or power

b (1) archaic : request, command (2) [from the phrase our will is which introduces it] : the part of a summons expressing a royal command

3 : the act, process, or experience of willing : volition
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a : mental powers manifested as wishing, choosing, desiring, or intending

b : a disposition to act according to principles or ends

c : the collective desire of a group <the will of the people>

5 : the power of control over one’s own actions or emotions <a man of iron will>

6: a legal declaration of a person’s wishes regarding the disposal of his or her property or estate after death; especially : a written instrument legally executed by which a person makes disposition of his or her estate to take effect after death

— at will
: as one wishes : as or when it pleases or suits oneself

A few random thoughts, about all that (accompanied by my friend, Google Images):

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In a previous (personal favorite) post here,  I wrote about To Do Lists.

Something that’s been on my To Do List, for a very long time?

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That kind of will.

Also, on my To Do List, for a shorter time, a different kind of will:

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A Living Will (which is not included in the Merriam Webster definitions) is defined as

A document in which the signer states his or her wishes regarding medical treatment, especially treatment that sustains or prolongs life by extraordinary means, for use if the signer becomes mentally incompetent or unable to communicate.

Hmmmm. I wonder why I’ve been avoiding completing both of those kinds of wills — The Last Will and Testament and The Living Will.

I repeat, hmmmmm.

Should I label myself “A Procrastinator?”  Would that help?

Nah.

Should I ask you, readers, if you might resist taking care of those kinds of wills?  Should I ask if you’ve encountered other people, in your life,  who have resisted taking care of those sorts of things, and the effect that has had on you?

Sure! I love asking questions like that.  Feel free to answer.

But ultimately, what would give me the will to just get those things done?

I can tell you three things that will help me take an achievable step, on Day 202, of This Year of Living Non-Judgmentally:

  1. Having just attended a 43rd year high school reunion.
  2. Identifying that achievable next step (calling a lawyer, whom I’ve identified, also).
  3. Remembering a “cliche” that my mother used to say a lot:

Where there’s a will there’s a way

(quoted in definition #1a, above).

That concludes today’s blog post, everybody.  Thanks for having the will to read, wherever you are.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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